Agenda item

Branding of the Ground Floor of the Civic Offices

To consider the attached report regarding the Branding of the Ground Floor of the Civic Offices.


Rob Pavey, Customer Services Director, outlined the proposed designs and names for the re-branding of the ground floor of the Civic Offices to the Select Committee. This reflected the new community and collaborative purpose of the space and promoted the area as a new destination where EFDC services would work collaboratively with partners to provide wraparound solutions for residents and wider community activity. He emphasised that this was not a proposal to rename the Civic Offices and was for the ground floor of the building. The refurbishment of the Civic Offices had provided an opportunity to review how the building was used, the building had a reduced footprint for EFDC staff and the top floor was occupied on a commercial basis. He described the areas of the ground floor and the flow through these areas and suggested the proximity and integration of the ground floor activity lent itself to a common brand.

It was acknowledged that there was some subjectivity and personal preference in all branding exercises, members had been involved in the iterative design proves carried out over the summer and two options were presented: ‘The Civic Hub’ and ‘The Civic’. Partners had been consulted and feedback on a common brand had been positively received. Signage was needed to help all parties signpost services and improve the visitor experience. The signage would have the same coloured floor markings, as floor spots to act as path markers to assist the journey through the building.

Learning outcomes had been noted from the process which could have had a clearer design brief and better engagement. The costs detailed in the report were maximum costs and included the design, production and installation though the space and the floor markings. The final design was a representation of collaboration and people working together and the name options for consideration were ‘The Hub’ or ‘The Civic Hub’

Members of the Select Committee

  • Commented that: residents had raised concerns on the cost of the exercise, acknowledged that rebranding could be expensive and difficult and there had been some level of reassurance that the costs included production and installation costs.


  • Acknowledged that there could be a personal preference around the rebranding and as this was subjective there would always be some differences of opinion. 


  • Discussed the potential names  and suggested that ‘Civic’ related to a city, was not a noun and therefore ‘The Civic’ was an anomaly; suggested that ‘Hub’ was more suitable term for an airport; that Forest, or Epping Forest should be included in the name and that Community Hub or Centre would be more suitable, as civic represented ‘The Council’.   It was noted that a Community Hub, run by a third party,  already existed in Loughton.   R Pavey advised that the names had been put forward as part of the design brief after an iterative  process with some members and senior management, to revisit would add time and money to the project, the term ‘hub’  was widely used across the county to describe shared spaces that provided a variety of services.


  • Remarked that the colours, floor markings would assist people moving through the space and this would be of benefit to people with visual impairment.


  • Sought confirmation that there would be a review of the outcomes and success of the collaborative space and were reminded that  a six month review formed part of the original proposal,  this had been delayed  due to the lockdown restrictions imposed by covid, but there would be a report that could be provided to this Select Committee in due course.


  • Raised concerns about the staffing levels associated with the welcome space and the impact on other forms of customer service and telephone contact which was already under strain. R Pacey acknowledged the strain on Customer Services detailed that recruitment would assist and in the future other front line services would also be present in the welcome area, the staff would be floor walking  when required but would be able to use the reception area to carry out back office duties at quieter periods, and self-service kiosks and visitor registration would also be used.


Cllr Whitehouse requested that logo was not placed on the outside glass case at the Civic Offices as this was used to showcase the Chairman’s and Civic events  and asked if there would be any non-digital publicity. R Pavey advised that the communication plan included non-digital formats, including conventional media channels, partners and other outlets such as libraries and offices. Cllr Kane confirmed that he and other members had been involved in an iterative process that went backwards and forwards with names and suggested that the space should be promoted with Parish and Town Councils.

The Committee agreed that from the two proposed options before them, ‘The Civic Hub’ was the preferred option.


The Select Committee considered the re-branding and proposed designs of the Ground Floor of the Civic Offices and agreed that the name ‘The Civic Hub’ should be recommended to Cabinet for consideration.



Supporting documents: