I’ve been heavily involved with building a new, far-reaching website that is now live. Ipswich Vision is an initiative involving seven of our town’s principal civic and commercial gatekeepers. Unusually, they’ve chosen to collaborate on a transformational series of multi-million pound projects targeting the centre of Suffolk’s county town.
Get this right and this ambitious feat of social engineering could make Ipswich unrecognisable in just a few short years. If ever a new website was significant and important, this one was it.
They commissioned this website to showcase the breadth of schemes earmarked and completed. Their plan? To engage the public, as well as reach investors with the increasing opportunities for further development and regeneration. Their goal? To establish Ipswich as a place where people want to be and where businesses want to invest.
Determined to achieve these aims, Ipswich Vision partners identified their biggest priorities. Infrastructure, leisure and tourism, housing, regeneration and enterprise were all highlighted as areas ripe for investment. They then hatched as series of projects to target these areas. The website was therefore going to help engage the public and attract further investment.
I was invited to join the site build to write the words by pitch-winners Waterfront Studios. I also art directed photography, lent some insight into user experience, as well as project managed its development. Waterfront Studios designed and built the site, utilising new branding created by graphic design students from the University of Suffolk.
As with most influential and prominent creative communications, this wasn’t straightforward. By definition, public-relations involving the public-sector demands sensitivity. As with any major conurbation, the town has its trigger-happy detractors. You know the type: ready to make a ruckus at the merest whiff of indiscretion. Plus, completion was regularly delayed as the scope of various projects changed repeatedly over several months – as can be the nature of schemes in the public eye.
Most of the time I had to have my wits about me to notice that research sources just months apart often contradicted each other. And sometimes, older facts weren’t necessarily superseded by more recently published information. So I had to work patiently and meticulously so as not to confuse details as plans continued to change and develop.
It was good fun, even so. Got to work with some lovely clients at New Anglia LEP who believe passionately in what Ipswich Vision is looking to do. So I’m especially delighted that we’ve got this website done for them and can finally see it live. Big thanks to the LEP for being so easy to work with. And huge thanks to Waterfront Studios for the invitation to get involved.