What we did:

Design, Marketing, Print, Web Design & Development

We’re big fans of the Ouseburn. Whether it’s working or hanging around some of the great bars after work, we spend a lot of our lives there.

Over the past few years there has been a lot of changes in the area. The Ouseburn Valley has undergone a dramatic transformation from post-industrial wasteland to what it is today, helped in large part by a raft of investment and community-led regeneration.

With the changing landscape in the valley it’s critical that the character and the independent nature of the bars, restaurants, event spaces and creative businesses isn’t lost. We were therefore excited to be asked to be part of a project to promote the area and document its evolution with a centralised web presence and marketing campaign.

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The brief

The project had two goals:

  • To act as a means of promoting the Ouseburn, showcasing the best of what makes the area Newcastle’s foremost creative and cultural quarter
  • To inform residents about plans for the area and to allow them to give their feedback

We worked on the project with our long-time collaborators and good friends from Roots and Wings.

The project was funded by Carillion-Igloo and URBED.

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What we did

Our goals for the website were to make it easy for new visitors to the area to find out about what’s on offer and for returning visitors to be able find something new and off the beaten track.

After compiling an extensive list of independent bars, restaurants, event spaces and business in the area we set about devising a user-friendly approach that met both our goals.

Using Google’s Maps API we created a means for visitors to find places to go based on name, location and category. Visitors are given recommendations based on their choices and provided with news articles related to the places they are interested in.

To capture residents’ views on developments we also integrated Commonplace, an app that allows users to provide location-based feedback on an area.

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On launching the website we set about creating a buzz on social media and in the valley itself. Framed posters, flyers and beer mats were created and distributed to venues included on the website, while we engaged with business owners and events promoters to generate fresh content for the website.

We targeted popular events such as the Ouseburn Festival and The Late Shows on social media, promoting the use of the website as a means for people to find their way around the area.

We also targeted local searches and within a short space of time had the website appearing at the top of search results for all major related search terms.

The integration of Commonplace has successfully allowed residents to let the people responsible for the major redevelopment projects in the area know their concerns.

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The future

With the website’s audience growing month-on-month we’re going to be developing the website into an even more useful resource in 2016.

We’re currently actively recruiting writers and will be expanding the content of the website to include reviews, event guides and opinion pieces.

Additionally, we’ll continue to engage with new independent businesses in the area, offering access to the website’s audience and, of course, to ensure the guide remains comprehensive.