Our Work

There Once Was An Ugly Duckling


The Challenge

To galvanise public support for the demolition of run-down 60s shopping centre, The Swan (Yardley), and ensure ongoing issues didn’t impact the long-term success of the scheme.

Our brief was to ensure the community remained engaged, as residents and retailers alike were asked to cope with disruption to surrounding roads, a closure of the car park – and CPOs to boot, all over a five-year period.

The Idea

Our strategy was one of communication, consultation and collaboration.

Throughout the lengthy redevelopment process, WPR represented Tesco in Yardley – holding regular MP and councillor briefings, attending neighbourhood meetings, fronting meetings with occupants of the onsite tower block (Bakeman House), running a hotline for residents and tenants, drafting and distributing newsletters, working with the council on a pioneering jobs partnership initiative, and delivering local school projects.

The Results

  • When Tesco opened the jobs line for The Swan, a staggering 1,100 people called on the first day alone
  • 134 people, all long-term unemployed, went on to be guaranteed a job with the retailer
  • Nearly 100 key local influencers, including the MP for Yardley and the council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, attended the VIP launch of the scheme
  • Days later, thousands of residents turned out for the official launch day celebrations, smashing all footfall targets