Home Thought Leadership How Marketing Lancashire’s work with the Northern Powerhouse is benefiting SMEs

How Marketing Lancashire’s work with the Northern Powerhouse is benefiting SMEs

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Lancashire is central to the success of the Northern Powerhouse, with 50,000 businesses, generating almost £28 billion per year, with SME’s being the lifeblood of our economy. We are the only area that borders the North’s largest city regions, Manchester and Leeds, and count the Liverpool City region, Cumbria and North Yorkshire as our immediate neighbours.

Marketing Lancashire is the agency charged with promoting the county on a national and international stage to visit, live, study, work and invest in. Visit Lancashire is the tourist board and is a division of Marketing Lancashire. The organisation works with both the private and public sector businesses across Lancashire and collaborates with neighbouring cities and counties, national agencies and government departments to attract interest, enquiries and investment. For some time, a key priority of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), had been to address the area’s long term under performance in positioning and marketing of the Lancashire offer to potential new investors, occupiers and businesses, whilst supporting the effective marketing of Lancashire as one of the UK’s leading visitor destinations and places to study; on behalf of the LEP, Marketing Lancashire has subsequently led on the development of a place marketing and communications strategy to promote the county more cohesively and confidently than ever before. Since its inception in 2011, having secured £1billion of investment to drive economic growth and prosperity for Lancashire the LEP were keen to ensure we continue to promote ourselves coherently and with a strong sense of identity to actively unlock the county’s potential.

Following a wide consultation with both the public and the private sector, a new Lancashire narrative was launched in November 2016 articulating the county’s strengths and assets, its attractiveness as a place in which to live, study, do business and to visit. The supporting ‘We Are Lancashire’ campaign aims to inject confidence into “brand Lancashire” and generate a unified, ambitious voice for the county, which business can get involved in by sharing Lancashire’s successes, our key assets and strengths and leveraging further opportunities. With Lancashire’s global track record of innovation and industrial excellence, with a new unified and coherent message, alongside a strong identity and a clear sense of economic purpose, Lancashire’s offer is more compelling and more recognised than ever before.

At the launch of the narrative, attended by Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy MP in November 2016, the LEP and Marketing Lancashire both signed agreements as official partners of the Northern Powerhouse. The promotion of the Northern Powerhouse seems to be gaining some traction and a thriving and confident Lancashire at its heart, is a powerful message to take to market. Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire, sits on the Northern Powerhouse Communications Steering Group who work with the campaigns office at Number 10 to improve awareness and communications about the NPH initiative to encourage better engagement and understanding.

Central to the ethos of the Northern Powerhouse is that the northern regions working together can be stronger than the sum of their parts. Lancashire, partnering with Manchester for the first time at the world’s leading property market, MIPIM Cannes, in March 2017, is an example of how a common sense approach to strategic and joined up working together can be beneficial, as is the collaboration with Lancashire and Sheffield on the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to be developed at the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone site adjacent to BAE, or building the evidence base for improved connectivity via rail and road from East to West, with the Lancashire LEP working with its Yorkshire counterparts as part of the Transport for the North programme.

Lancashire has been more prominent in the last 12 months than ever before, taking the brand to market at key events such as MIPIM in London and in Cannes, the Farnborough Air Show, the Lancashire Powerhouse launch, and a unique Lancashire Day Lunch in London, showcasing some of the county’s top chefs and producers to the most influential food and drink writers in the UK to generate interest and investment into Lancashire. This will continue at a pace over the next 12 months with a focus on inward investment, particularly leveraging the opportunities through the £430 million City Deal and the four Enterprise Zones in the Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster, which are of Northern Powerhouse significance.

So our work is aimed at generating more business for our Lancashire businesses, driving growth and increased opportunities across the county.

SMEs engaging with Marketing Lancashire can benefit from this extensive network, access marketing opportunities and intelligence, and place their business on national platforms. Marketing Lancashire is focussed on growing the profile and success of the county, on gaining greater recognition regionally, nationally and internationally for Lancashire. It is essential that we understand SME’s opinions and feedback as well as sharing our activity with the business community here in Lancashire so this is really about partnership working and collaboration.

Listening to the ambitions of our Lancashire businesses for the county, it is evident that these businesses can play an active role in articulating Lancashire’s strengths to attract more investment, more business to be done, to retain the best talent and unlock Lancashire’s potential. By working together we can all achieve more.

We Are Lancashire – the place for growth

For more information contact Marketing Lancashire on 01772 426450 www.marketinglancashire.com

 

To receive the LEP newsletter and weekly Lancashire Business Brief visit www.lancashirelep.co.uk

 

 

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Ruth Connor
Ruth was appointed the first Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire in August 2012, having worked across a range of renowned travel brands including: Rank Group, Bourne Leisure, Gold Medal Travel group and Shearings Holidays. Under Ruth’s leadership, Marketing Lancashire is charged with promoting the county on a national and international stage as a place to visit, live, study, work and invest in.