Client: Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills Steering Committee and
Prince Research Consultants
Project: Museum identity and promotion
Client: Healthlink Anglia and Oxford
Consultancy: Arena Communication and Design
Project: Anglia and Oxford Healthlink campaign
What happens to Ministry of Defence sites when they become redundant? In
the case of the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills, a former R&D and
explosives manufacturing complex, it was a case of nothing without
extensive public consultation. The site itself was ideal, lying within
the metropolitan green belt, although needing to be decontaminated.
First, a committee was set up, representing local and national bodies
which decided to develop a museum on the site. Its plans gained
government approval, which agreed to part-fund them, subject to a
Private Finance Initiative (PFI) partner being found and other funding
It was at this stage that the steering committee decided to promote the
project and continue the wide consultation and research process through
media, requiring an active design element. The design had a number of
aims, such as: to create a distinct identity for the project; raise
awareness across a range of audiences; act as a focus and encourage
participation; and general promotion.
An additional factor was that the Mills site had been the largest
employer in Waltham Abbey for many centuries, so the local community had
to feel involved in decisions about its development.
Typearea’s solution was an exhibition and brochure which reached a
number of audiences through seminars, conferences and public debates. So
far, pounds 8m has been committed to the project by the public sector
and PFI partners, while a pounds 6.3m bid has been submitted to the
National Lottery Fund. Local and regional businesses are also interested
in sponsoring the project, while there have been many offers from the
community to act as trustees, volunteer guides, conservationists, or
just to provide information about the history of the site.
Healthlink, an 0800 confidential health information service for the
Anglia and Oxford region, was hiding its light under a bushel. The
service provides unbiased information on a range of subjects, from
hospital waiting times to availability of NHS dentists, yet research
showed take-up could be higher.
A design brief focused on four key concepts: unbiased, confidential,
free, and open to everyone. Publicity material needed to be more direct,
uncluttered and bold, featuring the free number and stressing its place
in a national scheme. And the design had to have a shelf life of at
least two years.
Arena’s solution was an eye-catching design which can be translated into
A3 and A4 posters, leaflets, POS dispensers, credit-card sized
information cards, and advertorial campaigns. Since its launch, calls
have increased by 40% a day.