DNN member Urban River have client success with leading arts venue

South Shields theatre, The Customs House, has gone live with their brand new website, provided by Design Network North member, Urban River.

The new website is aimed at providing a smoother, quicker way to book tickets, as well as giving online users more and clearer information about the venue and forthcoming shows.

The Customs House turned to Urban River, a marketing agency based in King Street, South Shields, after working with the public in a focus group to find out what they wanted from a new website.

Urban River’s Managing Director Carl Buckley said: “We’ve been working with The Customs House for about three years and started on the website in the summer."

“We had a mixed team of designers and technical staff working on the website and we’re delighted with the result."

“I think the site is much better organised now and it’s easier to find out what they have on, on any given day. We’ve also improved the mobile site, which is now much easier to use and fully responsive."

“There’s so much going on at The Customs House that sometimes you have information overload, so we’ve worked hard to present the information in an easy-to-follow way, presenting a much better user experience."

“One area that we thought it important to highlight was all the work The Customs House does in the community, through its workshops and education work – people just don’t realise how busy they are in the community.”

The Customs House Executive Director Ray Spencer MBE said: “We’ve spent some time thinking about what we wanted from our website, and how best to present information for users."

“The Customs House is a complicated organisation in that we do so much in lots of different directions, so it was a challenge to pull that together coherently in one website."

“For instance, we put on hundreds of shows every year, all needing to be promoted online, but we also need to let people know what’s on in our cinema and in our fantastic Port of Tyne Gallery and our other gallery spaces."

“We also need to incorporate information about our very successful restaurant, The Green Room, our outside catering offer and our capability to host a range of events, from weddings to conferences to private dinners."

“Then we needed a section about the important engagement work we do through school partnerships and groups such as our two Youth Theatre sections, our Custom Reels film makers group and our new Young Interpreters group too."

“So you can see what a challenge it was,” he added.

Urban River tackled this challenge head on, with installation of Spectrix booking system – used by major theatres across the UK, including Northern Stage and The Lyrics Theatre.

The new website is the latest in a series of investments made to improve The Customs House. You can see the new website for yourself here: https://www.customshouse.co.uk/

Urban River is a leading marketing agency in Newcastle, specialising in web design, print design and branding.

Urban River is a valued Design Network North member. Design Network North is part of RTC’s new programme called ‘Designing Better Business’ – launched in 2016 - which will provide support for north east businesses looking to continue to innovate and design better world leading products.
RTC was founded in 1989 with the sole purpose of helping businesses innovate and create new higher value products. Today, the business operates out of offices in Sunderland, Gateshead, Leeds and Daresbury and specialises in helping companies develop new products, embed new skills through training and access funding for innovation.
Designing Better Business’ is part funded by European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020