A city with over 2000 years of history behind it, one of the country’s most important historic and cultural destinations and one of England’s 11 heritage cities. However it has never fully realised its status and potential often feeling at the periphery of the Lancashire county area and ‘looks to Cumbria’ in terms of its geography – needed to raise its profile at a national and international level.
Lancaster houses the world class Lancaster University, a renowned international brand in its own right and also homes a campus for Cumbria University. The city needs to play its role in attracting and retaining students, academics and staff within the regional economy.
Forthcoming major projects to be delivered in the area including Bailrigg Garden village, the Health Innovation campus at Lancaster University and ‘Eden in the North’ in Morecambe focused and amplified the need to have a compelling and consistent place narrative to be clear about what it is and tell its story in an ambitious and confident way.
What they say
Our place story has come up through the grassroots – it’s organic. It reflects what people really feel and there is consistency around the messaging, so intuitively it feels right. The process we’ve gone through, supported by thinkingplace, is very much evidence-based. It’s not just a marketing company going into a darkened room and coming up with an idea. Their conversations with our local stakeholders and economic partners have really highlighted the number and scale of the opportunities we have.
Our relationships have improved, both locally and in the wider region, because of this project, due to all the engagement with businesses and other economic stakeholders. That has generated so much energy and passion behind the process, which has been really important.
As the process has developed and the products, such as the storybook and the branding, have emerged, our partners and those we are now starting to involve are saying it’s transformational. It gives us a great economic launching pad.
Anne Marie Harrison, Head of Economic Development, Lancaster City Council