Rebranding Strategies

How can places rebrand themselves?

(These are notes I have taken out a textbook)

– Renaming a place usually happens for political reasons e.g. Bombay became Mumbai

– Authorities can take different routes into regeneration. In this post I want to look at 6.

1. SPORT

Engineering changes around sports venues and sports events are a popular method adopted for rebranding especially in poorer areas. It attracts much private investment. The Olympic Games in London Docklands 2012 is being used to help regenerate the poorer areas of London e.g. Newham, whilst building the City of Manchester Stadium for the Commonwealth Games was the keystone in the redevelopment of this old industrial area.

2. CULTURAL FACILITIES

The development of art galleries, museums and cultural ‘events’ has been central to the regeneration of many inner city areas in the UK including Liverpool, Glasgow, Bristol etc. In the past we have seen this type of regeneration for inner cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds etc. Margaret Thatcher created ‘garden festivals’ which aimed to create a green image of inner cities and attract private investors. Today these sorts of events still exist in regeneration. For instance, Cornwall holds Du Maurier festivals in May to attract tourists.

3. TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE

A specific ‘hub’ of scientific activity is sometimes created to act as a catalyst, speeding up the arrival of new high tech industries. These can be combined with leisure and fun activities. For instance, the area around GreenPark Business Park in Reading has come up.

4. RETAIL DEVELOPMENT

The term ‘food desert’ was created a years ago to describe urban areas that lacked adequate shopping facilities. After years of out-of-town shopping developments, planners have frequently used in-town retail developments as key elements in urban regeneration schemes. Manchester for instance has seen an economic injection since Trafford Centre (shopping mall) was opened. ‘Stratford City’ was a shopping mall that was going to be constructed in Newham but since we won the Olympic bid, plans have been diminished. That area of land is now used for the Olympics venue.

5. EDUCATION

This route is closely linked with using technology and science but it is different. Money is spent here in developments in universities and their departments. We have seen a successful example of this in California. ‘Silicon Valley’ for instance has a close relationship with Stanford University. The more the university is funded the better it gets and more ‘hi-tech’, quaternary sector businesses are attracted to the area. In rural Cornwall, something of a similar nature has happened. University College Falmouth and Exeter University have joined forces to create the Combined Universities of Cornwall (CUC). This has been done to improve the quality of education hence stop the brain drain and attract private investors. 

6. LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

In Blackpool, they created a £500 million multi-themed entertainment complex called ‘Storm City’ and a controversial flagship development, a new casino! To ensure perennial tourism and attract other private investors of a similar nature.

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