Residents are being invited to help create a image for their town.

International image makers Citigate SMARTS has been called in by Middlesbrough Council to develop a strategy for marketing the town to potential investors.

A leading member of the council has urged residents to help by telling the local authority what aspects of the town should be promoted.

A website questionnaire has been set up to give people a say in how the town develops its strategy to attract businesses, investors, government agencies and people coming to live, work or study in Middlesbrough.

The idea for a change of image comes from the development taking place in Middlesbrough including the £500m revamp of the town's old dockland, with its champagne glass-designed hotel, a theatre that looks like a toaster and skirt-shaped apartments.

There are also plans for a cutting-edge art gallery and a partnership with neighbouring Stockton in developing the derelict river bank linking the two towns.

The website, which went live this week, is part of a consultation programme involving community groups, firms, voluntary groups and regeneration agencies.

The questionnaire asks residents what makes them most proud of the town, whether they think the area is getting better and what needs improving.

Councillor David Budd, executive member for regeneration, said: "We're now seeing projects like Middlehaven and the Stockton-Middlesbrough Initiative getting under way. That is giving the town a boost and helping people feel more confident about the future.

"These projects have huge potential for improving people's quality of life, but we have to keep the ball rolling and ensure that tomorrow's investors get the message too.

"The best people to ask about what kind of image a town needs are the people who know it best - the ones who live and work here - which is why we're making sure they're in on this project from the start.

"We need their help to shape the town's future.

"We know Middlesbrough has a lot to offer, now's the time to get the message across.''

The website is at