Willoughby Public Relations has been appointed to handle the PR campaign for Style in the City – the three day fashion and beauty festival which is to return to Birmingham next year.

Event organisers Brand Events handed the account to the 30-strong Birmingham consultancy after a four-way pitch process. WPR’s appointment marks the first time an agency outside London has been brought on board to handle PR for the event.

Held in conjunction with The Sunday Times Style, the 2009 event will take place from Thursday, April 23 to Saturday, April 25.

Among the event highlights will be an urban catwalk show, a makeover-style live show hosted by fashion experts and a luxury pampering zone.

WPR managing director Jane Ainsworth said: “Winning this account is a dream come true for us.

“ Style in the City is easily the most exciting and innovative thing to happen to the Birmingham retail industry in years – and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.

“2008 has been a great year for us despite the economic downturn – not only have we won some fantastic accounts but we were also awarded the CIPR’s Gold Award for Consultancy of the Year at the Midlands Pride Awards in October.”