Leeds-based PR and communications agency, Loaded PR, has been appointed by Dewsbury Town Deal Board to develop a full communications strategy.
As part of the contract, Loaded PR will be responsible for developing an internal and external communications strategy designed to engage the local community and attract key stakeholders to all that Dewsbury has to offer.
It is the next phase of the Dewsbury Town Investment Plan, which saw Dewsbury win significant funds to deliver nine projects to further opportunities, accessibility and diversity within the town.
Dewsbury was awarded £25m from the Government’s Towns Fund and, along with wider investment from Kirklees Council and other sources, around £60m will be invested in the regeneration of the town.
The nine projects the investment plan will focus on include: restoring and re-opening The Arcade, a Grade II-listed Victorian shopping arcade as an independent retail and business hub; refurbishing Dewsbury Market, which was once a magnet for shoppers across the North of England; and the turning a rundown shopping street into a place where people would love to live, boosting town centre footfall.
For Loaded PR, founded by Gemma Birbeck in 2019, it is one of the first major public sector contracts. To deliver it, Gemma has teamed up with experienced local journalist Martin Shaw, who has strong family ties to Dewsbury and who has worked in and around the town for most of his 35-year career.
Gemma, director of Loaded PR, said: “Dewsbury is a town with an incredible history and it’s an honour to work with Dewsbury Town Deal Board in communicating the plans, aims and ambitions to restore the town’s fortunes.
“The Government’s Towns Fund has given Dewsbury a unique opportunity and it’s exciting for us to help engage with – and involve – the local community and stakeholders in Dewsbury Town Deal Board’s plans for the future.”
Martin, who has been working with Loaded PR since August 2020, has strong family roots in Dewsbury and brings extensive local knowledge.
His grandfather Herbert Farrar Shaw OBE served as Mayor of Dewsbury in 1933-35 and his parents were both born in the town. Martin started in journalism at the Dewsbury Reporter Series as an 18-year-old trainee reporter.
Martin said: “I’m passionate about Dewsbury, its past and its future, and to be able to work alongside Loaded PR and Dewsbury Town Deal Board is an absolute privilege.
“Over the last two years I’ve seen the passion, skill and expertise of the team at Loaded PR and it’s great that I can work with Gemma and the team to develop a strategy for Dewsbury that can help build a lasting legacy for the town.”
The project comes at an exciting time for Loaded PR as this is the third project win in the space of three months.
Loaded PR was also recently listed 55 in PR Week’s Top 150 agencies outside of London, as well as number 75 in PR Week’s Top 150 B2B and Technology agency list, demonstrating the reputation Loaded PR is building despite only being founded three years ago.