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Town and Gown –
Community engagement for University of Cambridge

Overview

The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s leading universities, renowned for both teaching and research. But in order to maintain this position it needs to develop its research facilities, plus provide affordable accommodation for postgraduates and staff.  Communications Management worked with Cambridge University to design and deliver an external engagement strategy for their new North West Cambridge campus development. On what was to be the largest campus development in the UK, the University planned 3,000 homes, accommodation for 2,000 students, 1 million sq ft of research facilities and a range of community facilities including a supermarket, hotel, primary school, GP surgery and community centre.

Strategy

Communications Management were appointed early in the process to design and implement the strategy, our work included:

  • Managing all communications and community engagement for the project
  • Devising key messages, identifying key stakeholders and designing and delivering briefing sessions, exhibitions and community events
  • Design and launch a dedicated website, to inform people about the development and provide regular updates via an e-newsletter
  • Proactive and reactive media handling
  • Design and production and distribution of information leaflets to local communities
  • Management of telephone information hotline and web chat.

Results

  • The University has been praised by the local planning authorities for the way it has engaged local communities in the process
  • The development received outline planning permission for the entire site
  • A new, vibrant, mixed academic and urban community will be created enhancing the city and the university.