Boro in PR drive to change image

The town of Middlesbrough is set for an image overhaul as the local authority bids to steer its reputation away from that of an industrial wasteland – towards ‘designer-label’ status.

Middlesbrough Council wants to hold talks with PR and marketing agencies as it seeks to develop ‘Brand Middlesbrough’.

It is seeking to bring in jobs and businesses by re-branding – and better promoting ongoing regeneration programmes.

The demise of the steel and iron industry that dominated the North-East until the 1970s has left mass unemployment. Middlesbrough feels the backlash of its industrial past with 7.2 per cent unemployment, more than double the national average, according to a council spokesman.

He told PRWeek: ‘The council feels it has a substantial task in changing views of Middlesbrough – but it is essential we get more jobs here so we need as positive an image as possible.’

The town was ranked in the top ten of the UK’s worst places in the Crap Towns II book, published in September. Mayor Ray Mallon has made economic regeneration a priority since he took up the role in 2002.

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