Building Back Better – Why Branding is the Secret Weapon of Regeneration

Regeneration projects are all about breathing new life into neglected spaces. Whether it’s a forgotten urban dwelling or a derelict industrial estate, the goal is to transform these areas into vibrant, thriving communities.

But what makes regeneration successful? It’s more than just bricks and mortar. A strong brand is the secret weapon that can turn a regeneration project from “meh” to “must-see.”

Here’s why getting the brand right is key to regeneration:

Attracting Investors

A strong brand acts as a magnet for investors. It tells a compelling story about the area’s potential, its unique identity, and the kind of future it’s striving for. This makes investors more likely to see the project as a worthwhile venture.

A Guided Development

A clear brand acts as a roadmap for development. It defines the types of businesses, residents, and activities that will create a thriving community. This ensures that the regeneration doesn’t become a hodgepodge of mismatched elements, but a cohesive space that reflects its intended purpose.

Building Community Pride 

A well-crafted brand can foster a sense of belonging and pride among residents. It gives them a reason to care about the area and become invested in its success. This community buy-in is essential for long-term sustainability.

Setting Expectations

Branding sets the tone for what people can expect from the regenerated area. It communicates the kind of lifestyle, atmosphere, and amenities that will be available. This helps attract the right kind of residents and businesses, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of a thriving community.

Changing Perceptions

A brand can be a powerful tool to influence people’s perceptions of a project and the area it’s transforming. It can focus on the project’s benefits, like improved quality of life, sustainability, or economic opportunity. This creates a positive narrative that shapes how people view the project and fosters a sense of connection and excitement about the future of the area.

How to Build a Winning Regeneration Brand

  1. Involve the local community in shaping the brand. What are their hopes and aspirations for the area? Understanding their needs is crucial for crafting a brand that resonates.
  2. What sets this area apart? Is it its historical significance, its architectural heritage, or its proximity to nature? Play to these unique strengths to create a brand that stands out.
  3. Every brand needs a story. What is the narrative of this area’s transformation? Sharing a compelling story will draw people in and make them want to be part of something bigger.

By investing in a strong brand, regeneration projects can move beyond simply rebuilding or restoring existing buildings. They can create vibrant, desirable places that attract residents, businesses, and investment. It isn’t just a logo or slogan. It’s a consistent message and set of values that informs all aspects of the project, from written communications to visuals (design). By effectively using branding, regeneration projects can create a lasting positive impact on how people perceive the area and its future.

Our Regeneration Projects


Founders Place Newcastle

Founders Place is a £137 million project transforming Newcastle’s city centre. Built on the site where the Stephenson family pioneered locomotives, sparking the Industrial Revolution, Founders Place honours its 200-year history while creating a vibrant new destination.

Located next to Stephenson Quarter and Newcastle Central Station, Founders Place offers exceptional connectivity for businesses, residents, and visitors. The site seamlessly blends beautifully restored historical buildings like the Pattern Shop, used by Robert Stephenson himself, with striking new developments like The Pioneer office building and The Rail Yards (coming soon). In the coming years, a mix of townhouses and apartments will be built to create a thriving community and offer the very best of inner-city living.

Cool Blue was appointed to develop the Founders Place regeneration brand and its building sub-brands, capturing the essence of places and spaces designed for people. Wellbeing, sustainability, and connection sitting at its core, shaping the brand and its sub-brands. As the site evolves, hosting events, providing recreational activities, and community gatherings, the Founders Place brand will remain flexible and relevant, reflecting this ever-changing hub.

Founders Place is poised to flourish, becoming a cornerstone of Newcastle’s future, while celebrating its rich past.


Riverside Sunderland

Once home to the derelict Vaux Brewery, Riverside Sunderland is a large-scale regeneration project aiming to transform Sunderland city centre’s riverside area into a thriving new urban quarter. A bustling hub, offering over 1,000 new eco-friendly homes for residents and over one million square feet of commercial space to attract businesses and drive economic growth. Riverside Sunderland envisions a vibrant space with homes, businesses, and public areas that will make Sunderland a more attractive place to live, work, and visit.

The site brings sustainability to the fore, with public spaces being transformed to become accessible, inviting, and well-designed, while eco-friendly building practices aim for carbon neutrality. This creates a welcoming environment for cultural and commercial attractions of all sizes, fostering a vibrant community.

Cool Blue was chosen to develop a strong identity that reflects Riverside Sunderland’s many benefits. The brand emphasises sustainability, celebrates the development’s eco-friendly credentials, and aims to foster a sense of community within the new city centre location.

As the city continues to grow, Riverside Sunderland is destined to become the city’s most prominent landmark and destination. The development will embody a strong, confident, and bold spirit, reflecting the values of its residents. It will honour its industrial past while embracing a forward-thinking and outward-looking vision for the future.


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The City Baths Newcastle X John LewisBringing a brand partnership to this historic leisure destination.

Barker and Stonehouse: A Story of SustainabilityA sustainable approach to furniture retail.

Grainger MarketEnhancing Newcastle’s Bustling Grade I Traders Market.

Anglo American:Powering cyber security.

Teesside UniversityCelebrating the Tees Valley digital community.

ProtiumStakeholder communications and engagement strategy.

Banks HomesCreating a unique brand identity for the new-to-market luxury housebuilder.

North P&I:160 years of incredible maritime history.

Middlesbrough College:Finding brand purpose for a dynamic educator.

Sleepeezee:Everything's easy when you Sleepeezee.

North East England Chamber of CommerceGiving businesses their say in skills provision.

Ercol:A moment of pride in ercol’s history.

Newcastle Helix:Our City’s Drive Towards Net Zero.

Story Homes:A new chapter for this thriving residential developer.

Stephenson WorksA welcoming and generous spirit.

NewcastleGateshead Quays:A quay moment for NewcastleGateshead.

TeesAMP:Making it in Middlesbrough.

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau:Tyne to get back to business.

Tees Valley Combined Authority:Encouraging staycations in Tees Valley.

Siglion:Bringing some vitamin sea to Seaburn.

North East Ambulance Service:A global pandemic.

Thirteen Homes:How do you want to live?

herdysleep:A first of its kind for the bed-in-a-box market.

Libra Interiors:Connecting consumers in a new way.

Tees Valley Combined Authority:Tees Valley Mayoral Election Campaign.

Animex:A virtual event bringing the brightest of minds together.

Imagine. Create. EGGER:Launch of a new product range for this global manufacturer

Finchale Group:A dynamic rebrand for the leading employment charity.

Duresta:A brave and bohemian collaboration.

South Tyneside Council:Recognising local community heroes.

Fusion:Healthy in the Heart of the City.

UK Land EstatesBuildings for Business.

Merit HoldingsA world leading engineering company.

Harrogate Spring Water:Continuing to make a difference.

Barker and Stonehouse:Say hello to Mr Clarke.


Cool Blue is a full-service agency that drives brands forwards. Our ideas and innovations are always conducted with purpose. Delivering solutions that combat specific challenges and provide results. Our strategic expertise offer a valuable service to every one of our clients, helping them achieve their goals.


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