How we got community on board for college build

Sometimes the stars align and you know you’re onto a winner. At Stoke on Trent College of Further Education we won the opportunity to convince local residents, councillors, MPs, parents, staff, students and planners that a campus redevelopment was in the best interests of everyone.

Having reviewed the project plans and visited the site of several occasions, we recognised a valuable community asset on the college’s doorstep. The ornate Victorian park in front of the college’s Cauldon campus was not in a great state, but nevertheless, it was an opportunity in front of everyone’s noses. So we came up with the campaign brand ‘Park Life’ and consulted with the college about returning the park to the community as part of the build project. Bingo!

The Cauldon campus redevelopment went ahead almost unchallenged. All stakeholders received regular project updates, whilst open days at the college were set up to encourage local residents to drop in at a time to suit. We created newsletters, a project website, exhibition panels and door drop flyers, as well as briefing press and gaining positive support for the project across the media.

As the song goes, ‘confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as (Parklife)’.

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