Wednesday, February 15, 2017

News: The Rotherham Story

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A major place marketing exercise has been launched using "The Rotherham Story" as a way of promoting the borough.

At an event held at Rotherham United's New York Stadium, Julie Kenny CBE DL, Chair of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust and a commissioner at Rotherham Council explained that the new initiative will be used to market and reposition the borough with ambassadors or "pioneers" selling Rotherham as a place to live and do business.

The first major theme of the Rotherham Story focuses on "Engineering Excellence" highlighting the major assets such as the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and the ethos of major occupiers such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, and soon-to-be McLaren, and the new enterprises like Xeros and PES that are pioneering disruptive technologies.

The second major focus is on "Living Green" and the perception of the borough as an industrial town but one that is in fact 70% rural. It highlights the quality of life for residents and abundance of country parks, urban parks and green space that can sell the location.

The Rotherham Story culminates in "Pushing Boundaries" - being confident and raising the bar in regeneration and education.

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The Rotherham Together Partnership event also heard from George Buchanan, chair of the North Notts. Place Board which underwent a similar place shaping initiative beginning in 2013. He explained the successful partnership that evolved from first setting out a shared story. The area now has a private sector place board and fee-paying "North Notts Envoys" that bring together "the knowledge, networks and influences locally to promote North Nottinghamshire as a great place to work, live and visit."

Regular events enable the envoys to hear first hand about the positive initiatives in the area, backed up by marketing material. North Notts. is also aiming to create a Business Improvement District - the first in the UK to cover the whole District.

Julie Kenny, who founded Rotherham manufacturing success story, Pyronix, said: "I am proud to be a part of this initiative which starts with the publishing of the Rotherham Story book. This is not a marketing tool, but sets out what we are about and what we are trying to achieve.

"We will back this up by a toolkit containing powerful imagery and a place plan. This is important. It is not about spending lots of money, because we haven't got any, but it is about creating a shared story and partners from the private sector and other sectors working together."

Kenny added that businesses will act as ambassadors - so-called Rotherham pioneers - armed with the story and an outward looking mentality.

She told businesses: "Your role is to be sales people. We live in a competitive world and Rotherham needs this narrative and clarity about what it wants to be.

"To achieve our ambitions we need a "Team Rotherham" approach with everyone on board. There will be a real focus in reaching out to businesses to fully engage them in the journey of creating a thriving place.

"The private sector has a huge role to play in developing the town and area and shouting about what it has to offer around the world."

Rotherham Together Partnership website

Images: Rotherham Together Partnership


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