As part of a three-man consultancy team, I was engaged to look at how the creative sector could inform tourism in the East of England, and how the region should be promoted and marketed.
The Haven Gateway covers a geographical area of Essex and Suffolk, across a number of local authorities and two counties. My role involved meeting with the tourism bodies in the region and running a series of placemaking workshops to investigate opportunities to make the creative offer stand out from existing attractions. That analysis enabled the Haven Gateway to make sensible decisions based on real perceptions and insights, rather than politics.Alongside a new creative focus, I developed the strategic plan and communications around ‘Gainsborough country’; we talked publicly about how the landscapes inspired Gainsborough, and continue inspiring people to paint today. Our job was to create a clear narrative about the vibrancy of the region's studios, use that in the tourism sell and bring creatives into an arena where the local tourism bodies could talk about them as an asset. The project developed a clear positioning strategy to facilitate tourism campaigns and decision making.