Destinations drive new business to Birmingham agency

East Village expanding with the help of further client arrivals.

Birmingham-based PR agency, East Village, is celebrating a raft of new business wins including two of the region’s best-loved destinations. Midlands Arts Centre and The Heart of England Forest are amongst new clients to have joined the agency’s portfolio this summer.

Having recently reopened its doors following the lifting of the latest Government guidelines, MAC is one of the region’s most popular destinations, welcoming over one million visitors each year. The pioneering arts complex, which is located at Cannon Hill Park, houses performance auditoria, media studios, a cinema, visual arts spaces, accessible artist studio, a ceramics studio and its recently refurbished in-house restaurant KILN.

The destination has been highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading arts and culture destinations for over half a century. On a mission to “make art an important part of people’s lives,” MAC continues to pride itself on creating diversity, equity and inclusion across the arts and culture space.

Debbie Kermode, CEO & Artistic Director at MAC, comments, “In the lead up to MAC’s 60th anniversary year in 2022, we’re excited to share stories about our proud history and exciting news about our future projects, with Birmingham residents. MAC is passionate about ensuring our work reflects the wonderful diversity of our city – through our dynamic artistic programme, which welcomes everyone and asks audiences to get involved with our work from volunteering to art making and employment opportunities.

Key to this celebration year is what our new partnership with the brilliant team at East Village brings, whose philosophy and approach to community engagement, inclusion and wellbeing connects directly to the DNA of MAC. This terrific collaboration will see us reach new audiences and help MAC to continue to grow and thrive.”

The agency has also been appointed to support The Heart of England Forest with PR, as it continues its mission to create and conserve a 30,000 acre broadleaf forest. Based in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Forest is an exciting and ambitious charity that focuses on enhancing the environment, protecting wildlife and providing a space for the community.

Covering a mosaic of habitats, The Heart of England Forest has planted nearly 1.9 million trees across its 7,000 acres of land in Warwickshire and Worcestershire. A much-loved destination, it boasts eight waymarked trails including a specially designed accessible route that’s suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and people with limited mobility.

Tara Tomes, Founder and Managing Director of East Village comments, “As the world reopens for business again, it’s amazing to be working with two incredible locations who share our passion for making experiences accessible to everyone. There has never been a more important time to stand out from the crowd, of course, but what we love about both MAC and The Heart of England Forest is that they offer so much more than a day out. They’re about regaining connection – with each other and the environment – and they want to create legacies that last. I can’t think of anything more exciting when it comes to working with organisations who share that purpose.”

These two client wins join a host of successful regional charities represented by East Village, including the Midlands’ largest grant-giving charity: Heart of England Community Foundation, which recently announced its largest year of giving having awarded over £4.2 million to 813 organisations since March 2020. In addition to Living Well UK, a consortium of over 40 mental health charities across Birmingham and Solihull, which provides free support to the region’s residents including a helpline delivered in partnership with Birmingham and Solihull CCG and Birmingham Mind.

The agency has also recently welcomed Oaks Consultancy to its client family, a Birmingham-headquartered business that provides strategic planning, fundraising support and income generation for socially-minded organisations.

“We have worked with everything from internationally-recognised fashion brands and award-winning shopping destinations to small business start-ups and independent restaurants over the years, but what I love is that they all share the same passion for creating great experiences. For me, that’s the best part of PR; connecting people, products and places who share great values and good stories. It’s great that, as we regain our collective independence again and say goodbye to lockdown, we can get back out there and celebrate the best of this culture-rich region,” Tara concludes.