Council investigates best way to ‘sell’ Pendle

'Which Way?' Taken at the junction of Barley Lane and Black Moss Road in Pendle.
'Which Way?' Taken at the junction of Barley Lane and Black Moss Road in Pendle.

Pendle Council’s existing logo accurately reflects the area and should continue to be used on boundary signs and in promotional campaigns.

That is one of the findings of the council’s Promoting Pendle Scrutiny Panel, which was set up last year when proposals for a new Brand Pendle were developed last year.

The original plans did not meet with popular approval, and the scrutiny team was asked to consider the best ways to promote the borough and its constituent towns.

The panel, which was made up of five councillors – Labour’s David Whalley (chairman) and Richard Smith, Conservatives Tony Beckett and Smith Benson and Liberal Democrat Ken Hartley – presented its report to last night’s full council meeting.

In it, they said they found that while a new logo was envisaged for the initiative to represent the new “brand” for use on highway boundary signs, a new website and for incorporation by businesses and

organisations in their marketing and other literature, there was a strong view that Pendle still doesn’t have a natural identity and to a large extent has meaning mostly in local government terms 40 years after it came into being.

“Local people who participated in the review put forward their views on what the area has to offer and how it can best be promoted and these comments have been helpful to the panel in drawing its conclusions,” said the report.

“We think we must acknowledge our limitations, not only in terms of resources available for promotion, but in terms of what we have to promote.

“We aren’t convinced of the need for a new logo and are sceptical of the extent to which businesses and organisations would adopt and incorporate it as originally planned.”

Last night’s meeting was asked to agree that the current council logo accurately reflects the Pendle area and should continue to be used on highway boundary signs and in future promotional campaigns.

It was also asked to agree that the council’s communications team, working in conjunction with the council’s partners to market the area by:

l Building on the strengths and successes of our individual towns.

l Making the most of the sites Pendle has for business development while accepting we don’t have space for large industry.

l Focusing on attracting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the area by highlighting the availability of workforce, low cost housing, and ready-to-use “turnkey” premises.

l Exploiting the internet and social media as low cost/free tools for promotion.

l Highlighting our countryside for walking and cycling and our existing and developing events and trails such as the Pendle Walking Festival and Quaker Trail.

l Promoting our many areas of archaeological and historical interest.

l Developing and building upon successful local loyalty schemes.

l Building an increased sense of community pride and unity via schemes such as “In Bloom” across all communities.

l Taking into account the suggestions of local people and businesses.

“We acknowledge that the underlying principle of raising the profile of Pendle is to be encouraged,” said the panel’s report.

“We believe that there is a clear need to promote Pendle and all the great things it has to offer in order to be able to compete with other areas in attracting inward investment and seeking economic vitality.

“However we must also acknowledge our limitations, not only in terms of resources available for promotion, but in terms of what we have to promote.

“Burnley has been cited often during the course of the review but the comparison is not necessarily a fair one.

“Burnley has far more land availability. It has the advantage of having an established identity, largely thanks to having a Premiership football team, and does not have the same challenge as Pendle with its range of towns.

“That said, Pendle can offer things which others can’t and it is on our unique selling points which we believe we should focus.”

The council was asked to respond to the Scrutiny Management Team within two months, indicating what action is proposed.