Lancashire LEP appoints SKV Communications and thinkingplace for communications brief

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed two agencies to deliver an initial 12-month media and communications campaign.

Lancashire Economic Partnership LEPThe agencies are tasked with developing and communicating a compelling Lancashire economic narrative – ‘the Lancashire story’ – by delivering a strategic campaign to reach target audiences, working alongside Marketing Lancashire.

thinkingplace will deliver a three month exercise of engagement, meeting with a wide range of interviewees to get ‘under the skin’ of Lancashire. The agency was instrumental in delivering an economic narrative for Burnley which also launched the Burnley Bondholder scheme which brings businesses together to promote the town.

thinkingplace director John Till said: “As a Lancashire company specialising in place marketing, we are delighted to be working with Lancashire people and businesses to fully appreciate the county’s assets, opportunities and ‘selling points’ and its personality, relationships and distinctiveness.

“Our work will produce a narrative which focusses on what’s special about Lancashire and will be used for over-arching strategic communications campaigns, and we will uncover good news stories beyond what is already well-known about Lancashire.”

Manchester-based SKV Communications will update the LEP’s digital platforms, and deliver campaigns to key regional and national audiences. SKV is one of five English agencies on the Crown Commercial Services framework for large government PR campaigns.

Richard Bond, director of strategy, said: “We are pleased that our track record of delivering campaigns for government departments and regional bodies, combined with our media know-how and creative ideas, added up to a compelling package for the LEP.

”Lancashire already has so much going for it, and we are looking forward to sharing the positive news with the media and target audiences.”

Both agencies will report to Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, who said: “In appointing both thinkingplace and SKV to the brief we are playing to the strengths of both agencies.

“This joint approach will support our work to achieve key LEP objectives to establish a strong and clear economic identity for Lancashire, and to improve the county’s position nationally.

“We have a very strong story to tell, including one of the largest Growth Deal allocations in England; a City Deal of truly national significance; and Boost, one of the country's best performing business growth hubs, underpinned by a range of local economic development schemes, with major investments in Lancashire's strategic transport infrastructure.

“The Lancashire Enterprise Zone is expected to create 6,000 jobs across two sites at Samlesbury and Warton, we are also awaiting confirmation of a further EZ site at Blackpool Airport, whilst Growing Places, the LEP's £20m investment fund, has already leveraged over £100m in additional private funding.” LEP Chairman, Edwin Booth, also chairman of Booths stores, says. “The LEP is forecasting £1bn growth for the county, creating 20,000 new jobs and 17,000 new homes. With the help of SKV Communications and thinkingplace, we will be promoting these messages, and more to come, with confidence and flair.”