- Luminate Education Group: Securing a Bright Future for Quarry Hill Campus
- Education / Property
- PR / Stakeholder Relations / PA
Ahead of its launch, Leeds City College needed to raise the profile of their amazing new education facility, Quarry Hill Campus, which was being overshadowed by other developments and at risk of being lost amongst the noise.
The need to raise its profile was threefold:
- To showcase the college’s ambition and abilities to city stakeholders
- To generate value to public sector funders, who had committed £33m to the project
- To promote the new facility to prospective students
Our campaign objectives were to create a compelling story around Quarry Hill Campus, which spoke both to city stakeholders, but also the wider public. We were tasked with creating a strong connection to the area’s past and a beacon for the bright future of Leeds.
We worked back from the ‘first day of term’ to create a steady stream of good news stories, culminating in a week-long celebration. The 12-month build-up to opening, allowed us to generate momentum in the run-up to opening day when 200 students (representing the 200 year history of the College) were assembled for a photoshoot outside the building with the College’s therapy dog, Jeffry.
That day we welcomed BBC and ITV regional news crews to campus, to showcase different aspects of the facility and interview staff and students. BBC Radio Leeds and Radio Aire recorded live from the site, and the Campus was featured on P1 of the Yorkshire Evening Post, with 1.5 further pages of coverage inside. The opening was also featured in the opinion leader of both the Evening Post and the Yorkshire Post. Leeds Live recorded a video ‘walk around’ the campus, in a hyperlapse format, providing engaging content for a younger audience.
Later that week, we invited Look North back to site, to film former Quarry Hill Flats resident, Jack Longbottom (75), abseiling down the seven-story block. This resulted in a superb broadcast piece, which was shared on the BBC Online website..
To finish the week off, we welcomed Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson to site, which generated more coverage, and presented the college leadership with the opportunity to press home arguments for future funding.
The College campus was full to capacity from day 1 – 3,000 students. The subsequent open days were some of the most successful in the college’s history.
During launch week, we generated 34 pieces of coverage across print, digital and broadcast, with an estimated 459,000 coverage views. The engaging and varied nature of the content, also helped us to generate over a thousand shares on social media.
This was by far our most successful week for press coverage, but was also set in the context of 130 pieces of coverage throughout the 12 month campaign.
The coverage also set the foundations for future coverage about the wider group, which was covered extensively in TES and on the BBC Education pages (and BBC Online Home Page) – a piece which generated 250,000 views in its first hours online.
What was achieved
We met and exceeded all campaign objectives and positioned the college as both an exemplary education provider and a thought-leader.
We embedded the college’s reputation within the business and stakeholder community, welcoming Leeds City Council’s leader, Chief Executive and Executive team to a tour of the site, giving us the opportunity to showcase the value the organisation brings to the city and region.
The college had subsequent plans for a nearby campus at Mabgate approved unanimously by Leeds City Council – a communications process also led by Social.