In 2021, the landlord of 'Spaces for Creatives', spoke to West Creative about a localised placemaking consultation. Provewell Ltd own a number of former industrial warehouse units that have been converted into a hybrid of Warehouse Living over the past 20 years.
Known locally as Harringay Warehouse District, this concentration of warehouse units provide live / work accommodation for c.800 people. Based in the London Borough of Harringay, North East London.
Keen to consultant existing residents prior to making a series of new planning applications, Provewell Ltd appointed West Creative to work alongside the wider team of planning consultants.
A community that has historically been low profile, hidden from co-ordinated developments in the area required a great deal of sensitivity. The planning changes proposed ranged from landscaping changes to new developments across various aspects of the site. West Creatives track record in community consultation and awareness raising were both required in equal measures.
VIEW / DISCUSS / COMMENT
The central theme to this localised campaign was focussed on raising awareness of the proposed designs and improvements, ensuring all c.800 residents were aware. A website acted as the main shop front of the consultation, combined with a monthly printed newsletter distributed locally, an online version of the newsletter and communication via Instagram, Facebook and a WhatsApp group.
The sensitivity of a consultation of this nature requires relevance, trust and timely communications. As the appointed mediator between resident views and aspirations of the planning team, it was important to demonstrate we understood the local context. To ensure relevance we appointed two local photographers to capture current content, worked with a resident to deliver the newsletters, utilised other residents to provide support at Meet Up events and commissioned articles from local residents.
COMMISSION DELIVERABLES INCLUDED:
Ranging from regular meet ups through to focused groups covering specific topics. James West facilitated all face to face meetings, navigating various topics with residents and businesses likely to be impacted by the changes.
Creating a hub for all consultation activity, the consultation website covered all activity from meeting notes to new ideas proposed. Utilising various feedback functions, the site captured everything from long form feedback to polls and priority ranking.
Despite being a clearly identified community, communication channels were actually quite fractured. To maintian effective comms, a series of channels were introduced - from social media to a WhatsApp broadcast group. A monthly printed newsletter complemented a digital equivalent.
AWARENESS RAISING ACTIVITY
Establishing awareness of the consultation and maintaining traction were key to the ongoing work planned over a period of time. Various tools from postcards to posters were used to stimulate awareness and generate word of mouth promotion.
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