New city marketing group to be established

Published on 17 June 2022

A rebadged, remodelled and rejuvenated Cityprom will be responsible for marketing and activating the CBD following a decision yesterday by the City of Launceston.

Councillors voted overwhelmingly at yesterday's ordinary meeting to endorse a range of reforms aimed at overhauling Cityprom after the Council originally agreed to review the operations of the organisation back in 2020.

The recommendation endorsed by Council included:

● Rebranding the new entity as Central Launceston Marketing Inc. (This won't be their new trading name, and the name of their organisation is not something the Council can decide)

● Setting the new entity's funding at $563,862 for the 2022/23 financial year 

● Agreeing to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the collaboration between the Council and CLM Inc., and

● Endorsing a new Operational Agreement that details the roles, responsibilities and services that are to be provided by the new entity.

Cityprom was established in 1988 following an agreement between the Council and a group of retailers as a way to meet the marketing and promotional needs of the CBD.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said that in the 34 years since Cityprom was created, it is clear that the nature of retail and the CBD has changed quite dramatically.

Following a notice of motion from Cr Rob Soward several years ago, the Council agreed to conduct a full review of Cityprom. The review began in 2020 but faced significant delays due to the COVID pandemic.

The review examined a number of areas, including the structure, business model and performance of the organisation, as well as contemporary approaches to CBD marketing and activation, as well as the future direction of marketing of the Launceston CBD.

"From the Council's perspective, it was vitally important that we were in a position to provide clarity and confidence in marketing the city as well as assurances that Cityprom and its activities were still meeting the changing needs of the CBD," Mayor van Zetten said.

"As we know from the mountains of research that have been undertaken over recent years, a strong CBD isn't just good for Launceston, but good for the entire region.

"A strong CBD provides employment and income for a lot of people who live not just in Launceston but outside the municipality as well.

"The reality is, if the CBD is not working the whole region will suffer. On the flip side, a strong, well-marketed CBD will benefit all ratepayers in Launceston and beyond."

Under the new structure endorsed by Council, Central Launceston Marketing Inc. will be responsible for Central Launceston destination marketing, place activation and advocacy.

This includes marketing and promotional activities designed to ensure that central Launceston remains the premier destination that residents and visitors visit for food, entertainment, accommodation, shopping and services in Northern Tasmania.

"While the name and the some of the faces behind the organisation may be new, I am extremely confident that Central Launceston Marketing will continue to deliver economic benefits for businesses in our CBD and the Council will continue to work with the new entity to create clear and measurable goals and directions.

Cityprom chair Monica Plunkett said the organisation had appreciated the Council's review as well as its focus.

"We have worked closely with City of Launceston throughout this process to ensure our refreshed model can best meet the needs of central Launceston businesses, as well as the wider Launceston community," Ms Plunkett said.

"We're looking forward to this next chapter with some fresh faces on the board, a new strategic direction and further clarity around our role.

"We're also very excited about the opportunity to broaden our service area, so that moving forward we can help promote and activate the entire heart of Launceston, which will, in turn, benefit our whole community."

Under the new model, the CBD business rate will be phased out incrementally over four years, with funding to instead be sourced from the general rate across the whole municipality.

"There are already a number of regional organisations that Council assist through existing funding arrangement such as NTDC, Visit Northern Tasmania and NRM North," Mayor van Zetten said.

"It is in everyone's interests that our CBD thrives and grows from both an economic and employment perspective - and we believe an effective marketing and promotions organisation such as Central Launceston Marketing is the best mechanism by which we can achieve that."