Ynys Môn Estates were seeking planning permission for a high quality, mixed-use development comprising leisure, retail and business space on the outskirts of Llanfairpwll on Anglesey on land that was owned previously by the Welsh Development Agency but now comes under the ownership of the Welsh Government.
The site was be 55 acres and would contain 373,000 sq ft of built space to include 100,000 sq ft of business space, 98,000 sq ft of leisure space and 175,000 sq ft devoted to a retail village.
Equinox was commissioned to deliver a community information, media relations and marketing campaign in the lead up to the Isle of Anglesey County Council meeting to decide whether planning permission will be granted.
Our brief was to disseminate information as widely as possible to the people who live on the Island, and concentrating more specifically on the neighbouring communities of Llanfairpwll and Menai Bridge who would be most affected by the development.
We also needed to engage with local stakeholders, Councillors and Assembly Members and ensure they had sufficient information on the proposed scheme.
To kick start the project we delivered a pro-active media campaign where informative news releases were issued and we took part in media debates to ensure balanced coverage of a subject that was locally considered to be controversial due to its perceived impact on Island life.
A 32 page bilingual brochure was produced explaining the concept of the development in detail. This brochure was aimed at stakeholders rather than the general public and contained information on the perceived impact on tourism, strengthening the economy, environmental sustainability, transport and on local culture, specifically the Welsh language.
Two public exhibitions were held for the general public where we engaged face to face with more than 800 local people from Llanfairpwll and Menai Bridge.
The media campaign peaked on the day of the first exhibition with blanket coverage in local papers and on site broadcast interviews with BBC Wales, ITV Wales and S4C, where the agency managed all media relations and provided the Welsh language spokesperson on behalf of the developers.
We also provided advice on how to avoid reacting to controversial statements circulated in the media by opposition groups and how to counteract these stories with positive messages.
The whole of this campaign was conducted bilingually and planning was granted.