Nottingham was once one of the world’s great manufacturing centres – home to Raleigh, Player’s and Boots. But by 2012 nine out of 10 jobs in the city were in services and youth unemployment was a growing problem. The focus on the service sector was seen as making the economy vulnerable.
An ambitious project was launched to produce a Growth Plan that would re-establish the city’s manufacturing expertise, deliver jobs, build economic strength and equip Nottingham to be a formidable, world-class centre of creative excellence. The city’s council, universities and business leaders all committed to the idea.
But people need to understand a plan if it’s to work. The first draft of the Growth Plan was 30,000 words long. The clarity and breadth of thinking that underpinned the strategy were in danger of being lost.
We crystallised the core messages. We built a clear and coherent narrative to explain the position the city was in, the strategy for moving forward, a summary of the actions emerging from this and a timetable for implementation.
The blueprint was necessarily detailed, so we took a twin-track approach. We produced a 24-page summary for the general public, outlining the broad, sweeping strategy. We got the bigger, main document down to 18,000 words and produced a design that enabled even this version to communicate the core messages quickly – chapter summaries and bold pull-out quotes for the skim reader, precise and concise detail for the technocrat.
It was a tough challenge that drew on our editorial expertise, our experience of working with academics to take complex research and make it accessible and our design talent to bring it all together.