Sunderland City Council

Having developed a great working relationship with Sunderland City Council after the successful launch of Key Cities, See it Do it Sunderland and Hylton Castle, Consult and Design were approached by the MAKE it Sunderland team to look at updating their web presence.

A brand update was launched using colourful and striking images displayed in print across the UK and abroad, and in prominent spaces such as Newcastle International Airport. Unfortunately the MAKE it Sunderland website was monotone, lacking vibrancy and feeling very old-hat. After working with the marketing and content team we took the new brand guidelines and prepared creative work that reflected the brand as it was being used elsewhere, and added our own Consult and Design magic.

Sunderland attracts business with over 80 internationally owned companies choosing the City as a place to call home, but the ambitious plans for growth meant developing a world-class website and support tools. Working with Consult and Design, Sunderland City Council were able to achieve that and have an online presence ready to support the exciting plans for the city.

The Solution

Working closely with the marketing team we decided that the key aims for the website were to attract and engage people looking at Sunderland from outside the region, to help people in Sunderland promote the city and it’s successes and to provide a platform for future initiatives in business support. Embracing the new brand, we developed an engaging and visual homepage that encourages people to read more.

By highlighting some of the great achievements so far using statistics and quotes, we were able to draw attention to some of the exciting investment opportunities such as the Vaux Site, International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) and the Port of Sunderland. Creating sector specific pages, Sunderland’s unique position as a centre of Automotive, Finance and Software sectors.

Using the Drupal Content Management System we have been able to ensure that the foundations are built for years to come and with so many ideas for new online business support and continued celebration of the City we are excited to see where the next phases of development lead us.

“Having relocated to Sunderland ourselves and working with companies from across the City and the World we were in an ideal position to understand the needs of MAKE it Sunderland”

Adam Hill, Director, Consult and Design

“Consult and Design managed to perfectly complement the work done on the MAKE it Sunderland brand while providing a huge amount of added value through their experienced consultancy services.”

MAKE it Sunderland

Features

Working closely with the MAKE it Sunderland team and partners we delivered:

  • Comprehensive and custom Drupal Content Management System providing MAKE it Sunderland staff complete control over their site.
  • Use of bold marketing imagery and design work consistent with the extensive brand positioning taking place across the country.
  • Infrastructure for developing multiple business support tools across the city including event management and kiosk applications.
  • Always on - 100% server uptime in over 2 years means MAKE it Sunderland is always open for business.

Results

We are looking forward to new developments over the coming months based on the success the site has already achieved. Results include:

  • Flawless user experience when seeing the extensive marketing campaigns run across the country and then visiting the website.
  • Significant increase in the time spent on the MAKE it Sunderland website since the new design was introduced.
  • Inproved Google positioning and more traffic coming from organic searches made about Sunderland, relocation etc. due to Drupal’s natural search performance.
  • Foundations created for investing in business support tools in the coming years, deeply integrated into the website content and management systems.

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