Agenda item

Marketing and Promotion

Roberta Willner from Norfolk County Council will present a paper outlining recommended approaches to marketing Greater Thetford with a particular emphasis on ‘Attracting Skilled Workers/Talent’.


Roberta Willner, Inward investment officer at  Norfolk County Council presented the report.


TP believed more could be made of National connectivity of Thetford. Not only to Stansted airport and Birmingham but to the growing port at Yarmouth and connectivity with Felixstowe.

RWillner advised proximity to ports, airports and rail links would need a visual aid. A digital advert would best show those connectivity links.


RWh thought the report was positive. He asked what discussions had been held with Thetford Business Forum and Tourist Information. 

RWillner advised those discussions would follow. The initial objective was to present a proposal to the board.


RWh highlighted affordable housing as an issue, if Thetford was to be actively promoted as a place to live affordable houses had to be available.

RWillner agreed and advised using digital marketing a lot of data was available so the campaign would be targeted to different demographics.

TJ thought the house pricing was interesting, he said there were two halves to Thetford, a four bed house could be purchased for approximately £105,000 on the Abbey Estate but the other side of Thetford house prices were not as affordable. He was therefore nervous about quoting average prices and would not want to pin the campaign on house prices as they changed frequently. He advised he had spent a lot of time talking to people about why they moved to Thetford. People gave history and environment as the two main factors. Connectivity links could be shown from many different towns across East Anglia, so he would want the campaign focus to be on the history and environment of Thetford. Many groups champion Thetford and he hoped the campaign would work with these groups to promote positives. The proposal highlighted Tourism and as a Board he believed they needed to support funding for tourism.


RB believed this was one of the better pieces of work presented to the Board and hoped they would support it. He advised that as the next Mayor of Thetford he was holding a reception and had requested local companies to attend to display their work. The whole event would promote the town. He requested contact details of other businesses to invite.


Action: RWillner to send contact details to RB.


A member of the public advised of a campaign at the Business forum “attract, train and retain”. He stated they had started to attract individuals and had a great reputation for training but the retaining was based on houses. The report mentioned Thetford was a feeder town for other main economic centres, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and Norwich and people could take advantage of low cost housing in Thetford. He did not wish to encourage Thetford as a dormitory town.

RWillner explained the marketing strategy was two-fold. One side was trying to attract high earners, there was a large business base in Thetford but not on the same scale as Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and Norwich. For Thetford if the aim was to fill 5000 homes you would aim to attract people to live there and commute to work elsewhere and attract people to live and work in Thetford but to attract higher skilled people there would have to be a significant pool of job opportunities in the area.


RB believed there was a great opportunity in the land surrounding Thetford. He suggested that by building factories on this land would attract people to live and work in Thetford. He gave the example of Cambridge, a factory there would attract workers however as house prices were so high 3000 new factory workers could not afford to live there. If factories were built local to Thetford with affordable housing in close proximity there was the opportunity to offer Thetford as the place to live, work and play.

RWillner agreed these were fantastic points, looking at the connectivity in Thetford, it could be the ideal low cost base.


The Chairman thanked Roberta for the paper, it showed true partnership working by recommending the Board take the lead.


The two recommendations were taken en-bloc and agreed.


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