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Define the best of Greater Birmingham and Solihull, public asked

Define the best of Greater Birmingham and Solihull, public asked

🕔11.May 2015

Marketing Birmingham has launched the next phase of the re-positioning project it is carrying out for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, reports Kevin Johnson.

The announcement was made, coincidentally, just minutes after Greg Clark was appointed Communities Secretary, a move warmly welcomed by the local government world and by those backing bold cities and devolution policies. With elections over, local councils will now return to focus on developing a Combined Authority that could see new devolution arrangements on the table from Clark. Potential stumbling blocks include the involvement of Solihull Council and opposition to having an elected mayor, something the Conservative government will insist upon for the full range of powers.

Another key stumbling block will be the name of the new super authority. Those behind the positioning project have been careful not to label it a re-brand, with a focus on narrative.

A new website forms part of the positioning project commissioned by GBSLEP. It aims to identify how the LEP and its regional partners should promote the area internationally to businesses, tourists, the media and other organisations across the world.

Residents and businesses in Greater Birmingham and Solihull have been asked to share their views on their local area through: www.birminghamregion.co.uk/.

Andy Street, Chair of the GBSLEP, said:

Locations from all parts of the globe are competing more closely than ever before – to attract the people, businesses, investment and talent that will generate more jobs and income for their areas.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area is attracting more foreign investment and visitors than previously, but we cannot expect this to continue without growing the area’s international reputation. To fully realise the economic future of Greater Birmingham, we must ensure that it truly stands out against its competitors.

First, we need to define exactly what we will say about the Greater Birmingham region – a diverse area that stretches from southern Staffordshire to northern Worcestershire. We must tell this story in a convincing and credible way, which reflects the area’s unique strengths and opportunities.

We can only define the real personality of the Greater Birmingham area if our consultation is truly inclusive. It needs to cover all of the district authorities, as well as the urban core. We want to reach as many people as possible, so we’re inviting members of the public from all parts of the region to visit our new website, and post their thoughts about where they live and work.

Members of the public can share their stories, images and key words about the Greater Birmingham area by visiting the website, which will be live until 8th June. The feedback will be used to define the region’s identity as a place to live, invest, visit and do business.

The site is part of a wider consultation which has included group workshops, individual face-to-face meetings and analysis of existing research. The findings of the consultation will help to create a clear and engaging narrative about the area, helping the GBSLEP and its partners to promote the region’s story for years to come.

The positioning project is being managed by Marketing Birmingham, with place marketing specialist Heavenly leading on the consultation work.

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