One Leicester project to promote 25-year aim for city ditched after four years
A marketing brand launched to promote a 25-year vision to improve Leicester has been axed after four years.
The One Leicester campaign was devised by the city council in 2008 to try to attract both visitors and investment, with more than £700,000 spent on setting up and running it.
It included putting up banners on 750 lampposts across the city, however, these are now in the process of being removed.
Most have already been taken down in the city centre and only remain where they point the way to public buildings, such as the library or the Phoenix arts centre.
The One Leicester website – set up to accompany the campaign – is being decommissioned tomorrow.
The city council said the One Leicester brand was "the vision of a previous leadership" and city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby had his own vision.
It also said a grant of £612,000 from the now defunct East Midlands Development Agency – to fund the campaign – had run out.
The One Leicester idea is being replaced by Visit Leicester branding.
Councillor Ross Willmott, who lead the authority in 2008, when One Leicester was launched, said: "The mayor is now in charge and it is perfectly fine for him to have his own vision for the city, but I remember him being supportive of it at the time, when he was a back-bench MP for the city.
"It's disappointing because I do think One Leicester was successful.
"It sounds like it's being replaced by a tourism brand and One Leicester was about much more than that – it was about partnerships and getting many different groups and organisations in the city working together.
"I hope getting rid of it is not throwing the baby out with the bath water."
Sir Peter said: "There is a change of emphasis. To look on that (One Leicester) as the only thing people recognise about the city is limiting.
"Of course, I want to build on the good things from One Leicester but take a new look at how we promote the city."
Salesman Brian Lowman, 40, from Glenfield, who works in the city centre, said: "I hadn't noticed the banners had gone until it was pointed out. I guess that means they were not working that well."
Office worker Shaheena Patel, 23, from Belgrave, said: "I thought it worked quite well as a concept but the banners have been up for quite a long time and you don't really notice them any more, so perhaps it needs refreshing."
Conservative opposition city councillor Ross Grant said: "I was dubious about the whole One Leicester thing in the first place but a lot of people did buy into it.
"It's another big thing that took up a lot of resources which the mayor has scrapped on a whim.
"The banners are coming down and its gradually being erased."
The Leicester Mercury backed One Leicester when it was launched – putting the branding on its sales booths across the city centre.
The city council said it had paid £108,000 to launch One Leicester in 2008, but that it had been entirely externally funded since – from the £612,000 grant. That does not include staff costs.
A spokeswoman said there was no additional cost to removing the banners.
She said: "The One Leicester banners are being taken down.
"A wider project around signage will look at the future use of lamppost banners, with the aim of ensuring improved consistent signs around the city."