Westbourne sets up cities practice to capitalise on more local spending

Westbourne Communications has launched a cities practice to help comms professionals take advantage of £2bn of spending that has been diverted from central government control to Local Enterprise Partnerships.

James Bethell at Westbourne
James Bethell at Westbourne

The transfer of government funds has been through Growth Deals, intended for projects that will benefit local economies.

The first round of 39 Growth Deals was announced in July this year. Rather than going through the Government, companies will now have to bid for business separately through a particular city.

Westbourne said it could help companies by putting them in touch with relevant politicians, local media and LEPs to become aware of opportunities.

The new practice will also act as a one-stop shop for PR and comms professionals; helping them to understand where the money is and directing them to LEPs and academies that can provide advice on how to expand into different cities.

James Bethell, director of Westbourne Communications, said: "Power is moving towards the regions and the cities in particular. Every comms professional should have a city strategy and if they don’t they need to catch up."

The cities practice is being led by the former leader of Trafford Council Matt Colledge and former HS1 managing director Paul Chapman

The new practice has built up key contacts in cities including Nottingham, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh.

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