Malton is a busy market town in North Yorkshire, with a thriving farmers market. Over the years competition from York and nearby shopping centre’s has caused trade within the town centre to decline, with many well known established shops having to close. Ryedale District Council in coalition with the local Fitzwilliam estate who own much of the surrounding area, put forward 12 proposals to local residents about possible ways forward. These included, pedestrianising the main town square and moving the farmers market to make way for new housing.
Locals were in strong opposition to many of the proposals put forward, they felt the town centre and it’s very essence was being eroded and much of it’s charm would be destroyed if new plans went ahead.
The council was acting with the residents best interests at heart, but they felt that there messages just weren’t being heard and that the locals were not seeing the full picture.
We sat down with Ryedales urban planning team and suggested the best way forward would be to present the proposals in a TV style format much like an extended news item. This way we could simply say what the problems were, what proposals have been put forward and what happens if you do or do not go ahead with these proposals.
We brought onboard a well known and well respected Yorkshire TV news Anchorman Geoff Druett. Geoff had over 30 years experience presenting Calendar news and political shows, he was perfect for getting across to an audience quite complex issues in simple terms.
To compliment Geoffs style of delivery, we used google maps as a device, where we could show the whole of malton, and then highlight on the town map each proposal and the area of the map that it referred to.
We interviewed local residents and visitors, as well as key players from the council, farmers and shopkeepers.
We used onscreen graphics to bring alive statistics, especially those that highlighted how much money and how many people were now shopping outside of Malton. Architects drawings, animation and motion graphics were also used to help bring alive what the area could look like in the future.
The 30 min film was shown several times at the townhall as part of the councils consultation to the residents. Feedback was wholly positive, many people who had previously been opposed to any changes now considered changing there position. To maximize exposure the the film was also placed online.
There was so much opposition to change, and so many different views, and many complex issues to cover, but we managed to simplify this and create a coherent piece of film which everyone benefitted from.
We were really pleased with this project mainly because it was a real team effort from all those involved.