How should we tell Shrewsbury’s story?
Place marketing experts, ThinkingPlace, who have worked on major commissions to promote all three of the UK’s cities of culture, are leading the project to create a new narrative and place marketing strategy for Shrewsbury, on behalf of the Big Town Plan Partnership.
The aim of the strategy is to drive inward investment, support business and help create jobs in Shrewsbury.
Businesses, residents and organisations are now being invited to give their views on the town’s strengths, to help form the basis of how Shrewsbury should be promoted regionally, nationally and internationally.
Sarah Perry, director at ThinkingPlace, says Shrewsbury has huge potential to flourish by attracting more visitors and inward investment.
She says: “We are really excited to be working on this project to create a strong marketing strategy to promote Shrewsbury for the benefit of businesses, residents and indeed everyone connected with the town.
“We have a wealth of experience working with organisations like the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership to help towns and cities maximise their potential.
“We are now carrying out research and gathering information about Shrewsbury’s assets, attributes, development areas and opportunities.
“We want everyone in Shrewsbury to tell the place’s story and help us get the message out what a great place this is to come to.
“Then, using our insight and experience, along with the valuable input from businesses, organisations and residents, we will identify a small number of themes that have the opportunity to shape Shrewsbury’s future strategy, story and ultimate success.
“We will then bring these themes to life by developing a bespoke strategy and plan of activity that is for Shrewsbury and owned by Shrewsbury.”
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, which along with Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council makes up the Big Town Plan Partnership, says the strategy is a key piece of work for the town.
He says: “While a range of marketing is already undertaken throughout the year, we are now looking to co-create a clear, compelling and consistent place story and marketing strategy that we can all unite behind when promoting Shrewsbury and our organisations beyond our borders.
“The team at ThinkingPlace are already meeting with stakeholders, such as business groups, and we are launching a public survey to harness the knowledge of residents – both local and those from further afield – about how they view Shrewsbury.
“I would urge everyone to give their feedback, because a wide range of views will really help us to create a collective vision to guide Shrewsbury’s future.”
Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, adds: “We believe a new, shared place story will help build civic pride and confidence, help us market Shrewsbury to attract inward investment and create jobs, and support existing business in Shrewsbury.
“The impact of Covid-19 on our town and our economy makes this work more important than ever.”
Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, says: “Who best to tell the story about Shrewsbury than the people that live and work here?
“This project is designed to capture those stories to show everything that is good about the town, promoting Shrewsbury as not only that tourist destination, giving confidence in visitors who want to experience everything we have to offer, but also establishing one of the leading economic centres in the region and a place to do business.”