It may sound like an odd question to ask as surely there aren’t many similarities between a South Yorkshire local authority and a National Trust for Scotland site that was once home to the Marquess of Ailsa! But, from a Leach perspective, there are some commonalities between the two – starting with the fact that they’re both satisfied clients!
And there’s more as Leach’s project director Tom Foster explains…
Whilst some businesses ship out the same products and services to clients one week after the next, this definitely can’t be said of Leach Inspire. Every project is extremely different, from the space and budget we’ve got to work with, to the very individualised story that we’re brought in to tell.
To look at what Barnsley Council and Culzean Castle have in common, is therefore a difficult task. On the face of it at least…
But dig a little deeper, and the similarities are multiple.
Both clients approached Leach because they have an underlying objective – to increase footfall (visitor numbers) to their sites, via the creation of inspiring environments that people enjoy, recommend and feel compelled to return to.
Some of the easiest ways to regenerate or enhance a space are via the introduction of colour, visual stimuli and new elements that people don’t recognise and therefore make them stop in their tracks. Again, this approach was adopted for both of these clients, even though the specifics of each project were very different.
Barnsley Council approached us with a clear brief for the country house museum and grounds at Cannon Hall. They wanted to both captivate and signpost visitors to the 70-acre site, therefore our external display solutions were a perfect fit. This client had already compiled the majority of content they needed for their displays and were clear in their business case for the project. However, they needed our expertise to bring everything to life. We therefore produced a suite of 20 bespoke signs from our Vault range. Every sign was manufactured with the same photographic quality and durability, for longevity of use by this tourism brand. This assignment was turned around by Leach with a four-week production schedule and two-week installation phase.
Culzean Castle, on the other hand, saw Leach partner with brand design specialists StudioLR as part of a three-month overhaul of the experiential signage at this 26-hectare heritage estate. The work was part of the National Trust for Scotland’s £2.5 million investment in visitor facilities, and saw Leach deliver a 147-sign manufacture and installation project. Despite tight timescales, Leach completed an extensive research phase which saw the team walk 17km around the coastal site of Culzean Castle to meticulously plan the job! This is just one of the many benefits of being involved in a visitor centre project from the earlier stages.
So, despite being quite different, a number of parallels become apparent when reflecting on these two jobs. Our goal, with both, was to help take visitors on a journey, just as our Leach colleagues do with shoppers in the retail sector or delegates at an exhibition. It’s always about striking a careful balance between guiding people as to the way, without them feeling like they’re on a conveyor belt of information! But this is exactly what we do on a daily basis…