Burnley

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the brief

Burnley in the late 19th century was one of the most important places in the world but since then it has slowly lost its reason for being and sense of place. The council and business community recognised that the town’s reputation and image needed to be considerably improved if it were able to properly develop as a sustainable town. The proposal was to use a place brand strategy as a means of raising aspirations, engaging business in the development and promotion of the town, changing perceptions, providing a framework for change and improving the ‘Burnley experience’.

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what was delivered

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Engagement of the private sector via the Burnley Bondholder ambassador scheme which has raised substantial funds for destination promotion burnley.co.uk/bondholder

over £11m raised from RGF bids

voted most enterprising area in the UK 2013 by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills

increased investment and re-investment in the town

population decline reversed

hoardings, photography, building wraps and campaigns introduced

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what they say

“John and George from the thinkingplace team really got under the skin of Burnley quickly and effectively, winning the confidence and trust of all our key stakeholders – whilst they weren’t afraid of being challenging they weren’t afraid to listen either – most importantly we knew we were getting fresh thinking dealing with our issues not a rework of some other project elsewhere – everyone is really excited about the new approach.”

Steve Rumbelow, CEO of Rochdale Borough Council (formally CEO of Burnley Borough Council)

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