Driving Ambition, Inspiring Success

The Client

When it was reported that British industry was facing a significant skills shortage in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) Middlesbrough College assumed the mantle for the region and invested in a £20 million STEM centre – delivering world class training for young people and assisting them in launching their careers with renowned companies around the region.


Launch the STEM Centre to potential students and parents, investors, local politicians and regional employers that would benefit from its output. Position Middlesbrough College as a key provider of high quality STEM training and increase the number of students and employees accessing the training on offer.


£9 million

coverage to date

Featured on BBC TV
Breakfast News

100 million

opportunities to see

The Strategy

Working with the team at Middlesbrough College we established the key audiences employers and potential students – and created a distinctive campaign to get people talking about construction of the STEM Centre and the role of the College in driving training in these core skills areas within the region. The key message throughout the campaign was ‘local’ – the STEM centre was designed by local industry, built by local industry, for local industry.

Press Coverage

During the construction of the STEM centre we highlighted how 40+ employers and support organisations took their places on an advisory board to help shape the new facility. We explained how Middlesbrough College was investing millions of pounds and working closely with local employers to provide a major boost to STEM training in the area. We also shone a light on the work being carried out on the centre by local companies, such as Esh Group and PX Engineering, who designed and built industrial plant equipment that sits at the heart of the building, providing that super-realistic industrial environment.

With public interest in the Centre being so buoyant prior to opening we knew the launch event had to be a big one. With the interests of the key stakeholders in mind, we brought on board Professor Brian Cox OBE to open the STEM Centre at a media launch event, instigating widespread coverage and social media conversation about the facility.

Testimonial image

Professor Brian Cox OBE visited Teesside to open the new £20m STEM skills training centre at Middlesbrough College

“It’s an act of genius – before you can train a skilled workforce you have to ask what it is industry wants and that’s exactly what has happened here.

It has genuinely surpassed my expectations and I’ll be lobbying very hard for places like this to be supported across the country.”


The seasonal student recruitment drive is a tough one. Colleges compete for attention in a short time frame, within the North East. There are numerous options available. Cool Blue regularly creates a suite of printed materials for use across publications, from double page advertorial content to newspaper wraps. Design and messaging focuses on results and case studies to grab the attention of students, and their parents as decision influencers too.


Construction of the STEM Centre has provided a focus for several PR opportunities including work beginning on the site and later the framework taking shape, with Cool Blue carrying out media relations at every stage and commissioning engaging photography.


Award-winning campaign

STEM Campaign
CIPR PRide Awards

“I’d recommend Cool Blue to anyone looking to carry out PR for their company or organisation, as they are simply brilliant at anything you ask them to do. From writing day to day press releases, advising on crisis management situations, and supporting key events in the College they excel and their service is top class.

The team are pro-active and supportive no matter what the request is and they always turn things round in the time required. They are enthusiastic and know a lot about their profession and the best ways to communicate all aspects of the college business to the wider world and our key target audiences. They have a high degree of integrity, are open and honesty and get the job done.

It’s reassuring for me as a Marketing Director to have such a fantastic resource at hand to support the Marketing Team and the College and to help develop our PR strategy.

Andrea Waller-Amos,
Director of Marketing, Communications and PR

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