A logo has been approved for the new Westmorland and Furness Council.
Feedback on two shortlisted designs showed a clear preference for the chosen logo, which features elements from both traditional Westmorland and Furness flags and a design that encapsulates the hills and rivers of the Lake District and Pennine hills and ‘speech bubbles’ to signify the voice of local communities.
The Cabinet of the Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council agreed the final logo on Monday, September 12 2022, describing it as “strong, clean and modern’’.
The new logo will now become a central part of the visual identity and branding process for the new council, which will come into operation in April 2023.
Two designs were shortlisted from an initial submission of more than 20 options.
Feedback on the final two, including from public, key stakeholders and council staff, resulted in a clear preference for the approved design, with more than half the respondents rating it as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.
Comments on the approved design will now be taken into account in a final refinement of the logo before it is rolled out as a central part of the visual identity and branding process for the new Westmorland and Furness Council, which will come into operation in April 2023.
A report to today’s Cabinet meeting explained that a design brief was drawn up and shared with a number of graphic designers, including designers already employed by councils in Cumbria, asking them to come up with logos that created a strong identity, were flexible, fully accessible and could be applied successfully to a range of platforms, from the side of recycling bins and staff uniforms to websites, social media and printed material.
The logo makes up just one element of the new council’s ‘brand’ and other key elements, such as organisational values, will follow as part of the Council Plan development.
The report continued: “A strong brand builds recognition of the services the council delivers, as well as building awareness, trust and improving reputation.
“For a council a strong brand helps residents understand the range of services available and for staff it creates a strong sense of belonging to ‘one’ organisation.
“By clearly branding all services correctly, we will make it easier for our customers to understand what is available, how to access services, and where to go for information.’’
Westmorland and Furness Council Deputy Leader Councillor Patricia Bell said: “This is a logo that really captures the essence of the strong, modern and dynamic council we are aiming to create.
“More than 20 designs were originally submitted and these were narrowed down to two that went out to a period of market testing, with feedback from stakeholders including the public and staff during August.
“The logo we have approved today was the clear preference of the majority of people and we are delighted with the chosen design and look forward to seeing it used across the new authority area.’’
Westmorland and Furness Council will act in ‘shadow’ form for the next 10 months, as its councillors engage in the planning and preparation for Vesting Day on 1 April 2023.
1 April 2023 is the point where Westmorland and Furness Council and its councillors will officially take over responsibility for all services across the Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland areas and the existing Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District councils, along with Cumbria County Council, will be dissolved.
Until April 2023 all current services will continue to be delivered by the existing councils, overseen by the councillors on those councils.
In the meantime, councillors on the Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council will be working with the Local Government Reorganisation programme planning for the new council to ‘go live’ in 2023.