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The Island Quarter

Media relations, stakeholder engagement and lobbying for Nottingham’s biggest development

4 public engagement events
150+ pieces of coverage (regional, national and trade)
15 broadcast media appearances

Background

The Island Quarter – formerly known as the Boots Island site – has lain derelict for more than 25 years, with several proposed regeneration schemes failing to gain traction.

The Conygar Investment Company purchased the 40-acre site in December 2016, proposing a mixed-use scheme consisting of offices, student housing, private residential and build to rent flats, a hotel and food and beverage outlets.

We have been working with Conygar since January 2018, using a variety of PR and stakeholder engagement methods to secure public and political backing for the project.

Our approach

Given the scale and importance of the project, we opted for a combination of traditional media relations and stakeholder engagement to ensure buy-in from all parties.

The site’s history had caused the Nottingham public to become sceptical of any development plans, so community engagement was crucial in the early stages of the project. To achieve this, Cartwright Communications organised several public events for a variety of audiences.

As well as a two traditional public consultation days, an event was held in the Creative Quarter, which is situated adjacent to the site. This event allowed invitees to take part in workshops with the development team, brainstorming ideas and concepts for the regeneration.

In addition, plans for the site were shown in a presentation slot at 2019’s NIPIM event, which runs parallel to the annual MIPIM property exhibition.

The visibility of the project’s key figures was also a significant part of the public engagement strategy, with broadcast media appearances scheduled around its major milestones, such as planning submission and approval.

In addition to engaging the public, Cartwright Communications put an intensive lobbying strategy in place, organising monthly meetings with major Nottingham City Council stakeholders, including the leader of the council and the head of the planning department.

Results

Over the last two years, the public and media relations strategy has resulted in more than a dozen appearances on broadcast media – including East Midlands Today, BBC Radio Nottingham, Notts TV and ITV Central.

Additionally, print media coverage has been secured across local and regional titles, as well as trade publications such as Property Week and Construction Enquirer, and national titles such as the Financial Times.

Most importantly, the project received outline planning approval in April 2019, with work starting to clear the site starting in February 2020.

The development will provide new homes, office space, a five-star hotel, retail and student accommodation.

"Without Liz and her team, it’s unlikely we would have received outline planning as soon as we did. Cartwright’s work goes way beyond public relations. Their hard work and tenacity and their ability to work, with ease, with stakeholders and the community is exceptional."

Robert Ware

Conygar Investment Company PLC

A combined approach

Cartwright Communications worked with Conygar to manage media relations and stakeholder engagement while lobbying for Nottingham's biggest development.

Media Relations

Building a positive relationship with the media is an important part of any PR campaign, and our extensive contact base and in-depth knowledge of how the media works can help to raise your company profile and put you in front of your customers.

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A trusted relationship with the media is worth its weight in gold, and our roots in journalism help us to get the very best results.

Event Management

Live events are a fantastic way to launch a new venue, product or brand, engage with stakeholders or to raise awareness of and generate interest in your business.

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We thrive on the pressure of a live event, having worked with clients on everything from restaurant and bar launches to large-scale arts festival, public consultations to county shows and round tables.

Placemaking

As specialists in communications across the built environment, we work with authorities, developers, investors, planning consultants and stakeholder communities. We are proud of our involvement with our clients before a project even begins. From small residential communities to large-scale regeneration, mixed-use developments, our team makes a real difference in the delivery of any size of project.

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Our team of specialists cultivate long-standing and mutually beneficial relationships with all stakeholders through direct PR tactics and outreach. We can help to manage relationships with public bodies and advise on planning and development schemes in conjunction with relevant local government policy.