Agenda item

Place Marketing - Leicester and Leicestershire

The Director of Inward Investment and Place Marketing, Mr Mark Oakley, has been invited to attend the meeting and he will provide a presentation as part of this item (slides attached).



The Commission considered a report of the Chief Executive which provided an update on the work of the Place Marketing team for Leicester and Leicestershire.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 10’, is filed with these minutes.


The Commission also received a presentation from the Director of Inward Investment and Place Marketing, Mr Mark Oakley.  A copy of the slides forming the presentation is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussion and questions raised, the following points were made:


(i)              The Tourism Advisory Board was a public/private sector partnership that comprised of representatives from a number of different organisations such as the City and County Councils, district councils, the LLEP, accommodation, sport, and transport businesses, the national forest, Twycross Zoo and the National Space Centre.  The Board had been in place for 3 years and gave a good steer on tourism opportunities across all areas of the City and County.

(ii)             As a result of Covid 19, alongside the LLEP, the Inward Investment Team had considered those businesses that could best be supported during this difficult time.  The Investment Team had worked with space and live science sectors which were considered key to the area, providing a source of great strength and opportunity to attract new investment.  Such businesses also generated employment opportunities, particularly for younger people leaving higher education or university who had been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

(iii)           Raising awareness and promoting opportunities both in the City and County was considered critical to both secure visitors in the first instance, but also to ensure they made the most of the area as a whole.  Members noted that this was largely done through website promotions and social media, but expressed concern that this relied on people choosing to research the area and did not actively reach out to new potential visitors.  Members noted that a new Place Marketing Manager was being appointed and their role would be to raise awareness of what Leicester and Leicestershire had to offer. 

(iv)           Leicestershire was seen as an attractive area for businesses to invest in due to its central and well connected location.  It also provided great value for money as high quality venues were often priced slightly lower than those in surrounding areas.  Business tourism was a very competitive area and it was suggested that this was worth promoting further.

(v)            The PMO (Place Marketing Organisation) worked closely with district councils building on and utilising their local knowledge to promote each area at a strategic level.  It did not dictate activity but worked to support what was being done locally.

(vi)           Concern was raised about the lack of detail as to how funding had been split across each district area and how this translated into increased visitors to those areas.  A member further expressed disappointment that the report did not provide quantifiable evidence of what promotion activities had worked well and what hadn’t and suggested that without this information local areas would not know where or how best to improve their local offer. 

(vii)         Members noted that performance was measured using STEAM data, a tourism economic impact modelling process, but that this varied across areas and could often be out of date which made it difficult to make comparisons.  However, Members were advised that some data was collected and provided to Visit Britain by the PMO every 2 weeks and assurance was provided that this along with the information collected through STREAM could be used to provide a clearer picture in the next annual report to the Commission. 

(viii)        Covid 19 had had a significant impact on Leicester and Leicestershire particularly as a result of the local lockdown and it was acknowledged that building confidence to bring people back to the area would be critical. 

(ix)           The PMO provided support to tourism businesses and helped them develop their businesses plans in light of Covid 19 following advice from Visit Britain.  Also, the County Council had introduced a recovery grant fund of £750,000 to help businesses survive and protect employment during the pandemic which had been very well received and already had provided much needed help to all types of business including those in the tourism sector.  




(a)            That the update now provided be noted;

(b)            That a further report be submitted to the Commission in a year’s time, detailing how funding was split across each district area and how this translated into increased visitors to those areas, together with quantifiable evidence of what promotion activities had or hadn’t worked in the preceding 12 months to guide future activity.


Supporting documents: