PUBLIC SECT0R: Councils unite to revive Crystal Palace area

Five London boroughs are to run a joint communications campaign in support of an initiative to regenerate the Crystal Palace area of the capital.

The campaign relates to the final two years of a seven-year Government-funded social regeneration project. It is being led by Bromley Council and will also involve Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.

Bromley corporate communications manager, Tom Harwood, says the £14m project is coming to the point where more communications support is vital to fully capitalize on what is being done.

'PR is vital to the success of the project in the final couple of years.

We need to increase the participation of local people and community groups, and encourage business investment by demonstrating that this is an up and coming area with potential for improvement,' he said.

The regeneration effort involves the creation of new training, education and job opportunities, improvements to local community buildings, and aims to increase the competitiveness of local businesses. There is also some work relating to the National Sports Centre which is being regenerated separately in connection with a possible London bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Bromley is to recruit a new communications officer to run the campaign.

The new recruit will work across all five boroughs, and liaise with Sport England. There will also be some media relations and other PR work.

Harwood said: 'It is a challenging post. It requires an understanding of how to work with lots of types of organisations: local business, public sector organisations and community groups.'

The Council has provided some PR support to the initiative before, but the new impetus follows the earlier appointment of Harwood. The person appointed will report to Barbara Thompson, Harwood and Bromley's head of community renewal.

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