Choose Cumbria is an initiative that celebrates and promotes Cumbria as a great place to live, work, learn, bring up children, grow a business and build a career. The project originally started life as a pilot scheme in 2015, which focused on South Cumbria. The pilot was a rip-roaring success, winning accolades from around the UK, culminating in a prestigious International News Media Association Award for the best launch of a brand or product to create an audience segment.
Our long term collaborators Plain Creative were involved with the early stages of the initiative, developing the branding and assisting with the forward strategy for what was then, Choose South Cumbria. After being invited to work alongside Plain Creative to build the website, working collaboratively, we developed wireframe layouts and prototyped the visual design prior to building the site on the content management system, ExpressionEngine.
The brand and accompanying website launched with a number of high profile partners including the NHS, GSK and BAE Systems in May 2015, and was soon followed with an inaugural virtual careers fair showcasing careers opportunities across the region.
Since April 2016 the project has been extended to include the entire county, and it has attracted a number of new business partners, all keen to capitalise on the growth opportunities in their market sectors. Choose Cumbria attends business events and recruitment fairs around the UK to attract new talent and showcase the county to potential inward investors and organisations who may be looking to relocate their business to another part of the UK.
The website had to be an interactive focal point for the project.Claire Croskery, Choose Cumbria
The project needed an interactive focal point where people could search for jobs, promote their businesses, and read about Cumbria’s many benefits. Naturally a website was critical to provide a central hub where people can discover career opportunities available to them and access the information on the things that really matter when moving to somewhere new.
Since the site launch, A Digital have provided hosting, ongoing support, ideas and advice. When the project was extended to cover all of Cumbria, A Digital upgraded the site with particular emphasis on the job search facility.
Our goal is to enlighten as many people as possible about the fantastic opportunities Cumbria has to offer.Claire Croskery, Choose Cumbria
Claire Coskery, Content Manager for Choose Cumbria, explains: “Those of us who already live in Cumbria know what a wonderful place it is to live and work. But many people across the UK and beyond haven’t yet grasped this. Our goal is to enlighten as many people as possible on the fantastic opportunities and lifestyle benefits Cumbria has to offer.
“Following the success of the Choose South Cumbria project, it was only a matter of time before it was rolled out across the entire county. The website had to be adapted and enhanced to accommodate the increased traffic and the needs of our growing number of business partners. A Digital has been an incredible support to us during this transition.
A Digital captured all our crazy ideas and turned them into a technical reality.Claire Croskery, Choose Cumbria
“We had to make the website visitor journey clearer and more logical. New sections were added, more case studies have been included and we have a much broader range of content. There were several occasions where we came up a crazy idea and I would scribble my thoughts on a bit of paper. A Digital would look at it, think about it and then give us different options on how it could be achieved. They would also take the time to show us examples so we could get a sense of how our ideas could work and what it could look like. There was nothing we asked for that they couldn’t deliver. They also fed us with great ideas to improve things across the site.
We think of the team at A Digital as 'one of us'.Claire Croskery, Choose Cumbria
“Right from the start, both Plain Creative and A Digital just ‘got’ what we’re all about and have been very enthusiastic about helping us meet our goals. Their support is outstanding. We speak with both companies regularly, either around developing the brand or introducing new functionality on the site. They may work in a different location, but we think of them as ‘one of us’.
Our business partners are delighted with the result.Claire Croskery, Choose Cumbria
Our partners are delighted with the results of the new site, particularly the job search facility. They love the interactivity and the way the content is displayed.
The website has lots of scope for further development. In essence, it’s future-proofed and can grow with us as the initiative develops embraces different aspects of living and working in Cumbria. Of course, A Digital will be with us as we transition into these exciting new phases.”
Visit the Choose Cumbria website here.