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Humber Place Narrative 'ThinkTank' - Principal and Major Partner event

8th February 2024
12:00am - 12:00am
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Ferensway, Hull, HU2 8NH
Future humber 20240208 0299

Thank you to everyone who attended our recent ThinkTank, discussing the importance and impact of place branding and why it's vital that we get this process right. The event was very well attended and aimed to spark ideas for our place narrative, while informing influential stakeholders of how important it is that as many people in the region get involved and have their say as we develop the Humber place narrative.

The session was opened by Bill Walker, Chair of Future Humber who shared that the time to create a new place narrative is right now. With the devolution deals both sides of the Humber under consultation and a General Election on the Horizon, now is the time to redefine ourselves and share more about our game changing opportunities under whichever governance structure we find ourselves working with.

Samantha Dunion, General Manager at Doubletree by Hilton Hull welcomed us to the wonderful venue sharing what the hotel offers for business in the Bondholders network. We thank the team at Doubletree by Hilton Hull for their generous hospitality in providing the venue for this event and for their support in the work of developing the place narrative.

In the unexpected absence of Wayne Hemingway of Hemingway Design, Andrew Palmer of CT Consults took to the stage to run through the importance of place branding, what it means, how it is developed and what good and bad can look like. He explained the work in the Humber as being undertaken by a multidisciplinary team and that it will not be a cookie cutter approach.

Andrew showed us examples from other places to explain more about what has worked and what hasn't and why, including Lowestoft, Manchester, York and Calderdale.

Amy Lewis from CT Consults led an interactive section where we provided answers to pertinent questions about the region, which will be taken away and analysed to inform the rest of the place narrative discussions and development.

A short panel session followed where Andrew and Amy were joined by Anja Hazebroek, Executive Director of Communications, Marketing and Media Relations, NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and Nina Stobart, Communications & Public Affairs Lead at Phillips 66. There were discussions around how we as people of the Humber identify ourselves when outside of the region. Do we really have pride in our regional identity? How can we do better? Thank you to everyone for adding their perspective.

Questions from the audience included the challenges in uniting a region which can be diverse in economics, geography, and politics. There were questions around the timelines involved in the project and how much longevity a place branding project can have. There were also questions around how place branding can resonate with individual residents and not just reflect what businesses want to see. All great questions, please do keep them coming.

Take aways

  • Successful cities and regions are known for something. What are we known for?
  • A place brand is not about the logo, or the strapline, but about sharing what is already there.
  • Every city and region says the same things over and over. We need to pinpoint our uniqueness to stand out.
  • We may know our own strengths as a region but does London? How about other places in the UK and the rest of the world? Does everyone know what we already know and take for granted?
  • Shared values and common goals gives focus
  • Consultation and buy-in from all stakeholders matters

Following this ThinkTank event, we are now progressing with sector specific focus groups to gather more information and try out some preliminary ideas. Please support us by attending the focus group relevant to your sector, or encouraging your colleagues to do so. These focus groups are key to finding out more about our shared values and common goals.

There is more information about all the focus groups at: Humber Place Narrative consultation programme