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Biggleston Yard – the £30m project for residents, businesses and stakeholders in the heart of Canterbury

New life for vacant site

The brief

  • To promote the Biggleston Yard project to the residents, businesses and stakeholders of Canterbury on behalf of the site’s owners, Setha Group. The site was that of the former Nasons Department Store, with the proposals comprising commercial retail and office space, alongside 28 serviced apartments, a further 38 residential units and space for community uses.
  • To develop the narrative around the benefits of creating a place focusing on food and drink, incorporating a pedestrian retail arcade and ‘market hall’, with open space and public realm in the heart of Canterbury.
  • To deliver the community engagement project and tell the story of the project to the media and stakeholders.
  • Create and manage a website to promote the proposals.
  • Organise, promote and host a two-day public exhibition inside the site, including the preparation of all exhibition materials.
  • Arrange a briefing for stakeholders, including Canterbury City Councillors, Canterbury Society, Canterbury Heritage Design Forum and the Canterbury BID team.

Results and highlights

  • Given the historic significance of Canterbury, the engagement strategy focused on reflecting the area’s commercial and industrial heritage around the former foundry and forge within the site.
  • This generated positive media coverage, including two consecutive front pages in Kentish Gazette and ongoing further positive coverage – and supportive comments from Canterbury BID.
  • The Biggleston Yard proposals received a major vote of approval at the public exhibition. Of the 365 who attended the event more than 74 per cent of those leaving feedback were very supportive; a further 17 per cent were quite supportive; only four per cent described themselves as opposed or quite opposed with the remainder being undecided or neutral.
  • Approval was secured from Canterbury City Council.

Services delivered

Community engagement, Media relations, Marketing, Corporate communications

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