A Landmark Victory: Deetu wins second Brownfield Award!

Deetu has been awarded Best Public Engagement and Participation of a Brownfield Activity at the 2023 Brownfield Awards!

Deetu’s entry centered around Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station. A beacon to the northwest, recognised by millions, this industrial icon has stood proud over the region for the last half a century. At the end of an era, how do you engage on transforming this both locally and nationally significant brownfield site into something befitting the 21st Century?

To respect the site’s history, an initial engagement collated memories and historical photos from residents and former employees, which were then shared back as part of the formal pre-application consultation.

At the heart of the engagement strategy; accessibility and inclusivity. Digital tools enabled to reach deep into the neighboring communities. Facilitating the digitally-led approach, a series of physical events were hosted. This methodology resulted in over 5,000 people taking part.

Celebrating the success of the engagement exercise, members of the Brownfield Awards judges panel said:

Deetu demonstrated the positive impact and contribution made by a brownfield regeneration project delivered in collaboration with all stakeholders and encouraged the participation and involvement of local communities.

A readability assessment was undertaken to ensure that the language complexity was appropriate for each audience while being consistent in its critical messaging. Deetu’s Jargon glossary tool removed the hurdles to complex technical language and terms.

Virtual drop-in sessions complemented the extensive online guided masterplan walkthrough, which used historical imagery from local peoples, CGIs and 360° drone footage from the top of the cooling towers.

This use of both visual and audio mediums further aided in the accessibility of the information available amongst the wider community, whilst also enabling a greater understanding of the technical constraints in regenerating this brownfield site.

There is no better way to embrace the site’s potential than viewing from atop a cooling tower!

Josh Dickerson, Associate at Deetu and Engagement Project Lead, said:

I am incredibly proud of our team to have been recognised for our work at Fiddlers Ferry Power Station.

Being awarded best Public Engagement and Participation of a Brownfield Activity for the second time running really cements our approach to doing things differently!

Josh continued:

For me, these are the moments that really validate all the hard work from the team in challenging the status quo and pushing the boundaries of engagement every day.

A huge thank you to all my colleagues at Deetu, to the wider Fiddler’s Ferry project team and to all of the local communities that were so passionate about engaging with the scheme! We are excited for what the next stages bring.

Feedback not only supported the transition of this brownfield site from heavy industry to a greener future. It also strived for further enhancements to the health and wellbeing surrounding the future phases, along with an even greater emphasis on ecology and biodiversity.

Creating a sense of social wellbeing was key within this defiantly thorough, on-going engagement exercise. This isn’t simply a case of ticking a box of support. This is the chance to build upon the site’s heritage, ensure the community know they are being listened to, that we understand them, and to use these opportunities to co-design alongside them. One day, the community will be able to enjoy this brownfield site and say, “We helped bring this to life.”

What comes next?

Lasting change to a landmark that holds a special place in the hearts of its community is best adopted when those involved are not only informed, but help to define that change. By listening to the community and stakeholders, the project team have been able to update and shape their plans in preparation for the wider site Development Framework, soon to be consulted on.

Want to learn more on how our award winning engagement methodology could help you?  Please get in touch.