Central Bedfordshire transition events

Creation and management of a six roadshows and a management event to support the transition of three councils into Central Bedfordshire Council.

6 seamless roadshows delivered in 3 locations in one week.

Over 2000 employees attended the roadshows.


Three local authorities merged to form Central Bedfordshire. The new unitary authority provides services to 250,000 people in 107,000 households.

Organisational change on this scale is challenging. Understandably there was a lot of fear and rumours among staff regarding the merger, specifically relating to concerns about job transfers, positions within the merging teams and geographical locations of new positions. This was particularly challenging due to the long heritage of the now defunct Bedfordshire County Council and the significant loyalty towards the brand and organisation.


Bonfire was commissioned to design, develop and manage a series of roadshows and management forums that took place within the three months in the run up to unitary status.

We needed to balance the needs of the client in terms of selling an encouraging and positive vision of the future, against addressing the legitimate concerns and questions employees would have about the change and how it would impact them personally.

A series of back-to-back, multi-site events and roadshows, scheduled to the minute, were created and delivered utilising the new unitary branding of Central Bedfordshire Council.


We created six roadshow events at three different locations across the county all held within one week. The events were open to all employees. As well as developing the overall delivery mechanism and key messages, Bonfire ensured that the new unitary branding was applied consistently across invitations, exhibition graphics, presentation materials, audio-visual content and merchandise. We managed each individual event to a minute-by-minute schedule, including the creation and production of a corporate video with interviews of key Central Bedfordshire councillors and workers, directed the audio-visual team and keynote speakers, managed the construction of the event, production of all event materials and liaison with key council members. Over 2,000 employees attended the roadshows.

Following the roadshows, Bonfire delivered the inaugural management event to address the concerns of, and engage with in more depth, all departmental managers within the three organisations. This body would be crucial in ensuring the success of the change management programme. The Chief Executive and Leader of the Council declared the events a resounding success. They were able to pick up instant feedback from managers as we created a secure, welcoming, fun and inspirational event that encouraged people to speak up.

Roadshows successfully produced and timed ‘to the minute’.