The Island Quarter

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

  • 4
    Events

    Public Engagement

  • 150
    Pieces of coverage

    (regional, national and trade)

  • 15
    appearances

    through broadcast media

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.

Island Quarter

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, we 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, we 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 past 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 to clear the site starting in February 2020.

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

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