Stakeholder engagement and business support
With trust in both local authorities, developers and the consultation process at a low point, it’s more important than ever that stakeholders are identified early in the engagement process and a clearly defined plan set developed to reach them both at the start, during and with the results of the consultation. We can help identify stakeholders, develop an engagement plan (including communications) and the questionnaires and other tools such as workshops that run alongside it.
We work primarily with businesses, where there is a multi-disciplinary team in place, engaging with small, high street businesses up to global multiples often via BIDs. This might be in formalised groups such as traders associations and networks or one-to-one with business owners, examining their business, its place on the high street and how, often by working with other businesses, they can grow and adapt to be more successful.
Business support and engagement
We led the business engagement stream with town centre businesses in London’s first Night Time Enterprise Zone to understand the challenges they faced to remain open later into the evening and the support that might encourage it. Baseline data was created to build an overview of the high street alongside in depth one-to-one interviews and shorter surveys with owners to build a profile of the businesses and the interventions needed to ensure they could grow. It culminated with a report and action plan to support high street businesses as the area changes. Key learnings from the pilot will inform the council’s updated Economic Growth Strategy and the Business and Employment Strategy for the town centre.
Town centre business engagement
We engaged with business and council stakeholders across Ilford town centre to understand their part in the town centre offer and how it would be impacted by large-scale developments that will change the town over the next five years. New partners were also engaged to help understand how the town centre will change with their arrival, especially with regard to the creation of an evening economy. An online survey was developed to gain views from users of the town centre as to what facilities they would like to see on offer. The results are shaping a new market offer and an events programme from 2020 as the public realm work takes place and new developments go live.
Engagement for a public consultation
The project involved management of a 12-week public consultation. Stakeholder engagement involved identification of statutory and non-statutory bodies across five diverse neighbourhoods with communications across multiple channels from the council to third parties and media. We worked with researchers to devise a trader and customer survey, run drop-in sessions and used the data to produce a written strategy that recommended a way forward for all council markets alongside extensive cabinet level briefing during the project.
Read more about our work with Westminster City Council on the blog.
With a number of self-employed residents in the London Borough of Redbridge, the council were keen to understand the support and growth opportunities for high street businesses and the actions needed to grow them. We carried out face-to-face consultation with high street businesses on their trading environment and met with public and private sector organisations and business groups. A report was produced outlining an approach to developing high street businesses and creating opportunities for start-up businesses to start and grow including a review of government policy and funding opportunities available to high streets.