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Marketing Birmingham spreads its wings under new funding deal

Marketing Birmingham spreads its wings under new funding deal

🕔15.Feb 2016

Inward investment services for the West Midlands Combined Authority will be provided by Marketing Birmingham under the terms of a new financial deal with the city council.

A service level agreement for 2016-17 to be approved by the council cabinet maps out a change of direction for Marketing Birmingham, the public-private partnership established in 1982 to generate visitor income and promote Birmingham as an international conference centre.

In return for a £2.039 million payment from the council, down by £170,000 from this year, Marketing Birmingham will be expected to meet specific inward investment targets and develop a “brand building programme” to present Birmingham as “a great place to visit and invest in”.

The council is making it clear it expects Marketing Birmingham to create additional income by winning contracts from a broader range of public and private sector organisations, including WMCA.

A report to the cabinet states:

Marketing Birmingham will develop an updated governance and organisation structure to work with a wider array of clients across the West Midlands leading to decreased reliance upon the revenue received from BCC.

A programme of business development will be delivered…..with the target of securing additional revenue contracts with public and private organisations.

Marketing Birmingham will seek to establish service level agreements with local authorities across the West Midlands and with the West Midlands Combined Authority once it has been formally established.

The report continues:

Work to develop the delivery model for the West Midlands Combined Authority is on-going, with an expectation that the WMCA will be operational by April 2017. It is likely that some of the services currently provided to the council through the Marketing Birmingham contract will, in future, be integrated into this arrangement.

Marketing Birmingham will also undertake organisational change to implement a governance structure to enable it to broaden its client base and attract contracts from a wider range of public and private sector commissioners.

Marketing Birmingham will increase its income from non-Birmingham city council sources including from other local authorities and the West Midlands Combined Authority, business subscription services, public and private sector contracts.

Under targets set by the council, Marketing Birmingham must deliver 90 inward investment opportunities creating at least 2,000 jobs during the year.

The organisation must also attract 75,000 unique visitors to its digital platforms.

Marketing Birmingham will be expected to develop and deliver marketing to key sectors, in particular advanced engineering and digital media. The organisation will also deliver an investment development programme supporting the growth in Birmingham of business professional and financial services.

Attempts over many years to improve the image of Birmingham and the West Midlands are expected to step up a gear when the combined authority and metro mayor take office.

Marketing Birmingham has been asked to lead on developing a publicity programme for Birmingham.

The cabinet report sets out what is required:

The brand building programme should align with the emerging vision for the city and should have buy- in from other key partners around the city – metaphorically and (ideally) financially. In the long term the programme will be seen to have made a positive difference to the perception of Birmingham.

To develop an overarching brand-enhancing programme for the city of Birmingham that aligns to GBSLEP competitive positioning project. The programme should have buy-in from key BCC stakeholders and other partners from around the city.

Marketing Birmingham must “deliver a media communications service that profiles Birmingham as a place to invest, visit, study and live” and the target timeframe for establishing a delivering a plan is set for the first quarter of 2016-17

The aim is to:

reate a brand programme that establishes the current perceptions of the city as a place to invest and visit and outlines the area’s key brand challenges. The plan should also offer a long term view of the activities we need to take to improve these perceptions.

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