After a decade of funding the Christchurch Central Business Association, including through the challenges following the Christchurch earthquakes, Christchurch City Council signalled that its funding assistance would be phased out. However, they recognised the value an independent representative body could deliver to the central city community in the future. To help the CCBA achieve sustainable self-funding, the Council offered support to prepare a strategic plan that would provide the required focus and direction.
Business Lab were engaged to provide facilitation and planning expertise, via an innovative structured engagement approach, to develop a clear strategic plan. Key to the approach was holding the first post-quake Central City Summit. This was informed by a number of targeted interviews with influencers and stakeholders. Seventy people attended the Summit with clear insights captured on how the CCBA could provide value as a representative body for the Central City.
The outcomes from interviews and the Summit were distilled into a graphically designed strategic plan and presented back to the Executive Committee and interested partners. Based on the confidence and direction provided by the strategic plan the CCBA made a submission to the Council's Annual Plan for its funding retained at the existing level with a clear path the for transitioning to a self-funding model.
This project was under time pressure as without the Council's support through its Annual Plan process the CCBA would have needed to wind up. Over just five weeks Business Lab engaged with close to 100 central city representatives and finalised a plan that reflected the interests of this diverse community.
The CCBA has since signed up to Business Lab’s Continuity Programme which has included advice on recruiting a new Association Manager. The CCBA are now looking forward to Business Lab's assistance with implementing the strategic plan.