Birmingham Airport faced major challenges following the government’s confirmation that Heathrow would be the preferred destination for expansion. Despite a major new investment programme planned, Birmingham Airport had lost touch with its local stakeholders during a time of growth and promise in the Midlands Engine project.
Within this context, WA were appointed to undertake a brave corporate re-positioning programme to showcase Birmingham airport as a regional champion to local, regional and national stakeholders and kick-start its new Master Plan with a flourish.
WA conducted an extensive mapping process to allow us to rapidly go on the charm offensive in the build-up to the Master Plan launch, securing 17 political visits to the airport from regional MPs, Ministers and Council Leaders. We received support from West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor Andy Street and the Midlands Engine.
For the launch, we arranged for a regional trade delegation, including James Brokenshire MP, Minister for the Midlands Engine, to depart from the Airport to India, emphasising the Airport’s role in stimulating international trading partnerships for the region.
The true test of our campaign was the launch of the Birmingham Airport Master Plan in November 2018.
Having successfully rebuilt local stakeholder relationships, WA was able to bring together cross-party leaders from local and regional government, business and transport to support the launch of the Master Plan. The Prime Minister recognised the importance of the launch during PMQ’s that afternoon. In addition, we generated widespread positive local media coverage (27 pieces in total) which set the tone for future engagement.
Mention by name by the Prime Minister during Prime Minister Questions
Key industry bodies involved – including Midlands Connect, Midlands Engine and the Mayor of the West Midlands
Members of Parliament, Ministers and Council leaders in attendance at the launch event
Pieces of coverage generated in regional media including BBC Midlands and ITV
Ministerial visits arranged including a regional trade delegation with the Minister for the Midlands Engine, departing to India
Decision makers liaised with before, during and after the event