CT Consults

Archive for February, 2024

Rugby – ‘the Game-Changer’?

Posted on: February 28th, 2024 by ctceditor

From when William Webb Ellis caught a football and ran with it at Rugby School in 1823, the game changed forever and the name ‘Rugby’ has become known the world over. How does the town of Rugby live up to its name?

Like many towns, Rugby has great connections, attracts young families from London, has plenty of good jobs, a large (huge, actually) out-of-town retail park, and an attractive town centre with some great independents. But it’s also home of the sport, and where the jet engine and holograph were invented – and is currently undergoing major regeneration.

We’re working once again with our good friends at HemingwayDesign to develop a place narrative for Rugby. Our challenge is to ensure that the regeneration plans demonstrate that spirit of ‘game-changing’ and the values they represent. What does it mean to ‘pick up the ball and run with it’ in Rugby town today? In what ways does the town come together to show a positive ‘disregard for the rules’? 


New Team Member

Posted on: February 15th, 2024 by ctceditor

After more than 20 years of working in product development, contracting and sales for some of the most successful tour operators and DMCs in the UK and Ireland, Karin now specialises in helping tourism businesses get their products travel trade ready and bookable online, and giving them hands-on support to develop pricing, digital marketing and sales strategies. Karin is working with us on the Fáilte Ireland Digital That Delivers programme as a Lead Consultant – Travel Trade.

Humber – good timing, big opportunity

Posted on: February 15th, 2024 by ctceditor

It’s clear the Humber suffers from a perception lag. But the opportunity is enormous, exponential, vast – and urgent. Humber’s role in transitioning the UK – and the world – into a new reality is critical. The challenge lies in articulating that in a powerful, united message. 

Last week, Andrew and Amy joined clients Future Humber and consortium partners HemingwayDesign and Pace Communications for a charrette and think tank event.

Future Humber has commissioned the consortium to develop a place brand for the region, to help drive strategic and inward investment, and to deliver a united voice.

Siemens Gamesa factory

The charrette began with a tour of the Siemens Gamesa factory, which manufactures offshore wind turbine blades. The sheer scale of the operation is hard to communicate, or capture in photos (if you were allowed to take pictures on the factory floor) – but imagine the choreography of a production line working 24/7, 51 weeks of the year, to create blades with a rotor diameter of 236m. That’s longer than 21 London buses in old money. Truly mind-boggling.

We met with representatives from the Humber energy cluster, which is genuinely world leading in offshore wind, clean chemicals, green steel production, carbon capture and the rapidly expanding hydrogen economy. The Humber region is tackling global issues on a global scale, and needs to rapidly expand both operations and recruitment to lead the decarbonisation of the UK. 

Hull City Council representatives took us on a walking tour of the city, pointing out developments such as the Fruitmarket. The 2017 UK City of Culture legacy has led to the Maritime City programme, which has raised over £25m to redevelop museums and historic sites and better tell the story of Hull’s maritime history. 

A pit stop in Goole to learn about how the Humber Freeport is leading to expansion of the Enterprise Zones and attracting new businesses to locate there, was followed by a walking tour of Beverley from the fab tour guide Paul Schofield. Paul showed us the quirks of the town, including a public art trail depicting the mediaeval guilds.

Day two we crossed the iconic Humber bridge. We looked at Scunthorpe’s regeneration, such as the revamped St John’s Church which will enable the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre to incorporate a science and discovery centre. A working lunch about developments on the North Bank was followed by a bus tour of Immingham and Grimsby ports. The monumental scale of trade was difficult to comprehend. As Britain’s largest port, Immingham’s ‘industrial cathedrals’ to steel, cement, and containers dominated the flat landscape. Import and export cars filled the view horizon-to-horizon. Immingham handles around 0.8 million vehicles every year.  

Made Great in Grimsby

Over in Grimsby, we toured the docks to see where over 70% of the UK’s fish is processed, arriving daily from across the world. Grimsby’s famous smoked haddock has Geographical Indicator status, and the ‘Made Great in Grimsby’ campaign has brought the cluster together to tackle big issues such as decarbonisation, and has also been adopted by the Football Club. It’s also home to the offshore wind maintenance fleet – where engineers have to abseil down the blades to conduct repairs. 

On Thursday, we were joined by almost 100 VIPs Bondholders for Future Humber’s Think Tank. Andrew led a presentation explaining the consortium’s approach to place branding: that actions speak louder than words; that logos and campaigns create temporary buzz but little long-term impact; that places must be underpinned by values shared by all stakeholders in a region; and that those values must be credible, authentic and aspirational. Amy crowd-sourced perceptions of Humber now, its assets and aspirations for the future. 

They were joined on stage by leading regional stakeholders Nina Stobart (Phillips 66) and Anja Hazebroek (NHS) for a panel Q&A, about the opportunity and timeliness of the region working collaboratively to advocate for a better deal. 

Good timing, big opportunity. Humber.


Slow gardening – a model for sustainable (and enjoyable) business growth

Posted on: February 7th, 2024 by ctceditor

On my list of things for 2024 is to consider my garden. It is a bit of a mystery to me, not traditionally my domain, but a place where I think I might become creative, learn something new and make unexpected and good things happen. I am not interested in rushing down the garden centre for an instant fix – I want to savour the process, create structure, and give time and space for things to take root and earn their place. I am not entirely sure where to start – and I anticipate there will be alot of frustration, hard work and likely some hot tears from not knowing what to do next –  but there is no lack of inspiration and approaches to borrow from. A recent  trip to Piet Oudolf’s stunning all-seasons Oudolf Field in Somerset has raised the bar and I’m ready to give it a go.


If it’s not too whimsical, I do think there is a connection here to how we also approach our business growth at CTConsults. Our ambition has never been to be the biggest, the fastest-growing or the busiest agency. For us growth isn’t the end game – but it inevitably comes with the territory of being curious and expansive thinkers. We are developing all the time, we are open to growth, but, hopefully, in a way which doesn’t outrun us or wear us out. And yes, in truth, small businesses are unpredictable, we aren’t in control of the climate and at times it gets out of kilter – that’s just how it goes (or grows). This week Brad introduced us all to a fabulous new team development tool. He saw that well-managed, sustainable growth needs a happy and well nourished team and his new internal CDP programme reminds me of the planting scheme that I am looking for at home – one that encourages each of us to find our ‘right’ spot in a shared space, and grow to our full height, and where together we will be in good shape whatever the season. Thanks Brad. Good work.

Some news

Do you think we can help?

Then get in touch

We’re serious about protecting your privacy and won’t share your details with anyone, ever. (read our privacy policy)

    Sign up to our newsletter


    Keep in touch to see our latest projects, thoughts and news. We promise we’ll only send you interesting content.