The challenge

Manner approached Social to support them in  bringing forward plans to redevelop the prominent House of Fraser site on Briggate in Leeds City Centre.

The redevelopment proposal included:

  • New retail space on basement and ground floors
  • 369 PBSA beds plus associated amenity and facilities on ground floor and floors 1-9

Given the prime location of the site in a high-profile city centre location, as well as the residential and commercial offering, the scheme will attract a high level of interest from local stakeholders and decision makers.

The site shares a boundary with a Grade II Listed Building and numerous established small, medium and large retailers. Close liaison with businesses and business organisations was paramount.

Our solution

Social undertook comprehensive research into key local decision makers and influencers.

Following this, a set of key messages and project narrative were developed to carefully manage communications around the project, including sensitive messaging around the store’s closure and associated job losses.

A digital-first consultation programme was held, owing to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. A bespoke, engaging and interactive website was created, acting as the hub for information and to gather feedback.

In addition, a community and stakeholder webinar was hosted, which proved to be an effective consultation tool during the pandemic and continues to offer choice to those wishing to engage in public consultations.

Media releases were issued to local and regional press to raise awareness of the proposals. We also used leaflets to immediate neighbours around the site to provide further information and provide information on how to submit feedback by the website, a phone number and by email.

Stakeholders including Leeds Civic Trust, Leeds City Council Ward Councillors, Leeds BID, Trinity Leeds and Leeds City Council Plans Panel members were engaged through a series of meetings and briefings, facilitated by Social.

What was achieved

The consultation returned 134 responses from across the city. The healthy range of responses from across the city and from a broad mix of stakeholders  was a testament to the effective tactics on this campaign, ensuring a clear understanding of the proposals.

Small, medium and large businesses in close proximity to the site were engaged throughout the planning process, and following approval, a Business Liaison Group was established to work with neighbours as construction begins.