Involving people in Bury’s economic strategy

Bury Council required a ten-year strategy to guide the Council’s approach to driving forward economic growth. The Strategy needed to reflect their diverse towns and neighbourhoods and set out Bury’s position in the wider Greater Manchester city-region.

PLACED, Hatch and Open were commissioned in late 2021, to develop this aspirational Economic Strategy for Bury for the next ten years. The Strategy will set out a framework for how the jobs, opportunities, and economy of Bury can be improved, helping to ensure those who live and work in Bury have the highest quality of life. Four broad themes were identified: Bury’s People; Bury’s Places; Bury’s Economy and Businesses; Bury’s Connectivity.

Our role in the team was to reach out to local people from across the borough. We then used these insights to shape the emerging strategy.

What we did

We worked with Bury to understand what they needed from engagement, what the challenges were likely to be and refine our approach.

The client wanted to hear the views of businesses, organisations and the wider public in the strategy. The strategy was also being developed to cover the entire borough. To address these challenges in terms of reach, as well as considering Covid restrictions, we commenced engagement with an online platform. The site included an interactive ideas wall, a map where people could identify geographically specific ideas and opportunities and a traditional survey. By having a platform, the council could share the opportunity to engage through their wide and well-established networks.

We also recognised the need to have conversations with people who may not share their views online. We used Ed the campervan to enable us to pop-up in three of the towns in Bury, with one day in Bury town centre, Radcliffe and Ramsbottom. We used interactive questions and precedent images to help people explore what changes would best support the local economy and the people who live in Bury.

Finally, we delivered two events for staff and Partners at Bury, recognising the knowledge that those delivering activity across Bury have. This included attending the Bury Employment and Skills Fair and a Team Bury Partnership event, where Hatch and us presented findings to date and sought further input through engaging activities.

Throughout, we worked closely with the team at Hatch. This meant we could be sure that questions we were asking were relevant to and could shape the strategy.

Outcomes

The strategy is nearing the final stages of development, and has been informed through the engagement work undertaken throughout its’ development.

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