£40,000 brand has grit, say council chiefs

The launch of Pretty Gritty at Dean Clough, Halifax
The launch of Pretty Gritty at Dean Clough, Halifax

Council chiefs have been defending the spending of £40,000 of taxpayers’ money on a branding exercise for the area.

Calderdale’s new brand Pretty Gritty was developed by “place branding” consultants Heavenly and was launched at Dean Clough, Halifax, on Monday this week.

Since it was announced the slogan, and other sub-themes developed as part of the concept, including Stubbornly Creative, Modestly Magnificent and Ruggedly Beautiful, has attracted its critics including some questioning whether it was money well spent.

But Mark Thompson,the council’s head of housing and environment said for him it was not about two words.

“Pretty Gritty is shorthand for what we’re trying to do. I don’t see it as a slogan for Calderdale, it’s much bigger than that.

“It’s got something which is more than just a pretty place - it’s got the grit of the character of the place, both the built environment and the people,” he said.

Andrew Peacock, marketing and design team manager said: “I’m keen to move away from the idea that this is a slogan abnd that we’ve paid the money for two words.

“Calderdale, like anywhere else, is competing for a share of investment and tourism - how are we going to stand out from the others?

“Who are we, what’s our story? How do we stand out? And how do we use it? They’re the sort of questions we asked at the beginning of this process.”

Heavenly spent time in Calderdale carrying out workshops and interviewing residents and businesses to find out what made Calderdale special.

Mr Peacock said: “We’re trying to get a brand for Calderdale - something we can use to talk about Calderdale.

“This isn’t a council brand - the long vision is that this is a brand for Calderdale, and although the council has funded it, it’s not ours,” he said.

l More from the launch on page 8