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Truro Town Deal

Careful communications and community engagement

Truro Town Deal logo.

The challenge

In 2019, Truro was one of four towns in Cornwall, out of 101 nationally, selected to work towards a Town Deal. Truro also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19.

In July that year, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth.

A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision.

Truro had to work fast to set up a Town Deal Board, made up of private, public and community sector representatives. The board needed to shape a vision and strategy for economic regeneration in Truro, to be incorporated into a Town Investment Plan to be submitted to Government as part of it bid.

Truro Town Deal board needed a brand identity, website, communications and community engagement plan to gain valuable feedback from the local community on its ideas. In summer 2020, Agile won a competitive tender to deliver this work.

The solution

With tight timescales, we started a plan of one-week sprints to deliver a brand identity and website quickly.

We then moved on to fortnightly sprints to set up a community engagement campaign for Autumn 2020, presenting selected regeneration projects for feedback from the public and community stakeholders. This involved a major pivot when the UK was yet again plunged into Covid-19 restrictions – we switched from socially distanced engagement events to a digital and print media campaign, offering opportunities for people to engage online or via local newspapers.

Between August and December 2023, we:

• Developing a visual identity and website for Truro Town Deal, based on WordPress and Elementor, delivered within two months of contract award.
• Establish social media channels across Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter for Truro Town Deal.
• Establish an email newsletter using MailChimp
• Manage media relations and media enquiries for Truro Town Deal, leading to 5 front page articles.
• Manage advertising with local media outlets to support community engagement activity.
• Delivering a detailed Community Engagement Plan and report to accompany the Town Investment Plan.
• Applying Agile methodology and responding to change when Truro’s funding was announced, with just two hours notice, by the Prime Minister during April 2021.

The results

In April 2021, Truro secured a Town Deal of up to £23.6 million following the successful submission of its Town Investment Plan for a range of regeneration projects.
In addition, each of the locations selected by the government to work towards a Town Deal were invited to apply for accelerated funding to invest in capital projects that would have an to invest in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help ‘build back better’ in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Truro was allocated £750,000 through the Government’s Accelerator Fund to kick start the delivery of projects in 2020.

• During the Community Engagement campaign, the Truro Town Deal website attracted 3,771 users
• Social media reach during the campaign included circa 30,000 impressions on Twitter and 31,600 audience reach on Facebook
• Established an email newsletter with 73.7% open rate and 27% click through rate.
• 455 pieces of feedback generated via online and offline forms
• At least 92% of feedback was supportive of the vision for Truro outlined in the Town Investment Plan. Across the portfolio of projects

Agile retained the contract to continue delivering communications support to Truro Town Deal board, working closely with Cornwall Council, as the projects move into delivery.

Badass quote from the client

We selected Agile PR as our comms support partner due to their demonstrated experience in the academia, industry and start-up environments. Rachel and her team have provided exemplary support to NCIMI over the last four years and have shown they can significantly unburden my operations team for much of our communications workstream. We can rely of Agile PR to do much of the up-front comms “heavy lifting” and deliver a professional product ready to promote.

Dr Mark Beggs, Chief Operating Officer, National Consortium for Intelligent Medical Imaging

Do you need to hit the ground running with a full kit of brand, socials and website to kick start your communications project?

Contact us for the sprint-iest and most pivoty of approaches!