Darwen Town Investment Plan

Towns & Cities

We were part of the team that developed the Town Investment Plan (TIP) for Darwen in Lancashire. The TIP was submitted in January 2021 and was required as part of the town’s bid for up to £25m from the Towns Fund, as set up by Government.

We were responsible for two key aspects of the TIP submission: 1) The spatial strategy, a series of plans to demonstrate how the various individual site-based projects contribute to a coordinated overall picture, and 2) The public consultation and engagement process. This second strand of work ensured that the project board and the wider project team understood the priorities and aspirations of local people.

The restrictions on public gathering due to the Covid-19 pandemic forced our team to adapt our methodologies and transfer some of our collaborative work on online. We combined real-time online mapping technologies with multi-participant video calls, creating the digital equivalent of sitting around a table with a paper plan and a set of felt tip pens. The results were just as immediate and could be recorded and shared more effectively.

Those that took part were impressed with our approach: “Thank you for facilitating tonight’s meeting, it felt very positive and hopeful for Darwen and we both felt that you are very much the right team to take this forward for the town” and “Really enjoyed the focus group… I felt really pleased to be involved” were some of the feedback responses we received.

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