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Partners and management

Why a partnership?

Through partnerships Bristol has found it can bring together difficult and wide spread issues, to enable the development of new ideas and approaches whilst generating wider involvement and concerted action.

In looking at multifaceted issues such as movement and information, partnerships offer the broad span of experience and expertise to widen the thinking. Bristol Legible City considers new approaches to old problems.

As stated by Andrew Kelly in his publication Managing partnerships, a multi-skilled approach can bring dividends to an initiative.
Providing space for independent thinking
Bringing new people into projects
Helping find new solutions to old problems
Create new vision
Building local confidence
Creating trust in the city by national government and    investors
Bringing in greater investment, public and private
Promoting better coordination
Helping to build a better quality of project
Providing longer term thinking

The Bristol Legible City Partnership Group has grown to match the diversity of the initiative and projects within it. Bringing together consultants with planners, urban designers and traffic advisors within the City Council’s Department of Environment Transport and Leisure (DETL), it has grown to grown to include expertise in cultural development, tourism, public art and the major regeneration partners in the city including the Regional Development Agency.

A key partner has been Adshel, chosen as a company interested and committed to developing new ideas in advertising and product development in urban contexts. Adshel has worked with the Bristol Legible City concept to provide funding and have taken on board the unique design of the project for their products in Bristol.

How does the partnership work?

All the partners sit on the Client Group for Legible City, which meets every two months to consider scope and direction of the initiative and decide on priorities, whilst monitoring the progress of projects.

Coordination is carried out through a project manager within the Planning Services division of DETL. The project manager sets out agendas, organises minutes and acts as a point of contact for individual partners.

A specialist consultant may assist in the delivery of client decisions on policy and direction and may prepare advisory papers on detailed strategies.

How are projects managed and financed?

Each project has a project board consisting of both partner and professional advisors, tailored to the skills required with a project leader responsible for taking the work forward. Finance is agreed annually by the Client Group and approval gained by each partner with their respective organisation.

A report is prepared every March at the beginning of the Local Authority Financial Year setting out progress, reviewing achievements and proposed direction. This includes funding for the coming year, within a three year framework.

Funding, once allocated, is monitored by the overall project manager who reports to the Client Group and advises on expenditure and adjustments, where necessary.

Projects are tendered in accordance with Bristol City Council’s procurement regulations and, where applicable, OJEC requirements.

How have the public been kept informed?
A key objective of Bristol Legible City has been to keep people informed, encourage debate, share information and publish proposals.

The Client Group has seen public involvement and dialogue as essential in developing a shared programme for action. It has encouraged exhibitions, conferences, publications and working groups to test design concepts and wayfinding ideas. These have helped to inform the process and to gain approval from the community.

The involvement of artists has been seen as a fundamental part of the process both in building identity and in bringing a wider audience and range of interests.
Public feedback, field-testing and user surveys have been employed to test the success of individual projects and identify weaknesses.

The ability to build on the strengths of the individual partners, and their networks for accessing the public, has been a great benefit of Bristol Legible City and has enabled ideas and proposals to reach a wider range of the City’s interested public.

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Managing partnerships book pdf
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