On behalf of everyone at Copper we would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year.
This has been another unpredictable, difficult and demanding twelve months. Obviously we had all hoped that, by now, we would have been returning to something approaching normality. After a year that began with strict lockdowns, we have been able to enjoy some re-found freedoms, and have relished the opportunity to meet so many of our clients, partners and stakeholders face to face, when it has been possible.
But as we finish the year, we are confronted with another wave of Covid, which will make the start of 2022 unpredictable and will introduce a new set of challenges. We know how many unique obstacles that you, and your organisations, will have faced, and we are committed to supporting all of our clients and partners in the year ahead.
Despite the unusual demands of the year, 2021 has been a productive one for the infrastructure industry. The COP-26 conference provided a focal point and rallying cry for the transition of the UK to a net-zero economy in the coming decades. We have also seen an ever strengthening policy landscape which will support the accelerating roll out of renewable energy and the growth of the hydrogen economy. The Government’s backing of small modular nuclear reactors is also an enormously positive step for national energy security and the international standing of British industry.
Meanwhile the long awaited Integrated Rail Plan, commitments to spending on regional transport upgrades in the 2021 budget, and the award of Freeport status to eight regions, have set a new direction for transport networks. Through the Towns Fund, Levelling Up Fund and other investment, we have seen billions committed to the rebalancing of the UK’s economy and the improvement of social infrastructure around the country.
During the last year, Copper has supported clients including DLUHC, National Highways, National Grid, Vattenfall, LM JV, RWE, Cadent Gas and Progressive Energy to achieve major milestones, helping to contribute to the enhancement of critical infrastructure around the UK. Copper’s ongoing growth has also enabled us to continue to invest in our team, with senior hires across all of our practices, and 27 new people joining us.
In our 25th Anniversary year, Copper’s ongoing commitment to excellence in communications and engagement for the infrastructure and construction industries has also been recognised with awards from both CIPR and PRCA. Meanwhile we have continued to contribute to understanding within our industry through publication of a range of Attitudes Reports into the public perception of Freeports, Levelling-Up, Local Carbon Energy and the transition to Net-Zero. In order to play our small part in the drive towards carbon reduction, Copper has also become a carbon neutral company ourselves.
The ongoing growth and development of our business means that we will be in a strong position to support our clients, partners and the country as a whole as we tackle ever more pressing challenges in the year ahead.
However, none of this would have been possible without substantial support from our clients over the last 25 years, and for that we remain enormously grateful. Thank you all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.