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Big public backing for Biggleston Yard, Canterbury

August, 2020

Securing public support for a £30m Kent city centre investment to support the project team’s path through the planning process is one of Kent PR and marketing agency Maxim’s latest success stories, writes Andrew Metcalf, the Director who led the community and stakeholder engagement activity.

Coinciding with the August submission of the planning application for Biggleston Yard, the multi-million pound redevelopment of an important Canterbury site, Maxim secured the front page and two other full pages in the Kentish Gazette, the city’s well-respected weekly newspaper.

The Kentish Gazette, 13 August 2020 – shared with permission from KM Media Group.


The former Nasons Department Store site – renamed as Biggleston Yard after the historic family-based business that it was once home to – is the city’s new retail, commercial and housing-led regeneration scheme.

Maxim developed and delivered a community relations and engagement strategy for the site’s owners Setha Group, a London-based property development company.

Our work for Biggleston Yard involved:

  • Input into the naming of the development ensuring it resonated with the local community;
  • Researching the history of the site;
  • Detailed review of the project to help consider any and all public issues ahead of it going live;
  • Announcing the scheme to the public and stakeholders;
  • Managing a two-day public exhibition including the design and content of the panels;
  • Designing the project’s website and its content;
  • Ongoing engagement with key stakeholders and the media.

Our narrative combined the site’s industrial past with high-quality sustainable development to offer an exciting new chapter for Canterbury.

Against the backdrop of Covid-19 the Biggleston Yard project shouts strongly about confidence in Canterbury.

Being proactive and seeking early public backing and avoiding opposition is vital to ensuring political support and gives confidence that it can and will be delivered. This is the approach we use to help improve the prospects of projects navigating the planning process at the first time of asking, so avoiding costly appeals.

The Maxim team was able to do this thanks to more than a quarter of a century of experience of communicating directly and digitally with the media, stakeholders, and the public.

The Biggleston Yard two-day public exhibition took place in November 2019, welcoming 365 attendees and securing overwhelming support.

The positive public reaction to these proposals is testament to the quality of what Biggleston Yard is offering Canterbury, and how we at Maxim presented it.

The proposals hit the right note, with more than 91 per cent of visitors declaring themselves as very supportive or quite supportive. Only four per cent of exhibition visitors described themselves as opposed or quite opposed, with a further five per cent considering themselves undecided or neutral. This is a resounding vote of support.

It is anticipated the Biggleston Yard proposals will be considered by Canterbury City Council before the end of the year.

Andrew Metcalf - Director

Andrew Metcalf

Maxim / Managing Director

posted in: maxim/client news, media relations, public relations,

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