Leading communications and engagement specialist for the infrastructure sector, Copper Consultancy, has launched a new practice focused on economic development. 

Building on a strong track-record supporting organisations during the Development Consent Order process and throughout the construction phase, Copper will now bring its strategic communications expertise to help shape the vision for economic development in towns, cities and regions across the UK. 

Copper will advise on and deliver stakeholder relations at the very start of a project to encourage community engagement, whether developing new places to live and work, unlocking the potential of existing towns and city centres or designing transformative transport solutions. 

The new practice sits alongside Copper’s existing infrastructure and construction teams, meaning support is available for developments from concept to completion 

The economic development practice will be headed up by James Gore, who joined Copper earlier this year from Bristol Airport, where he was Head of Government & Stakeholder Relations.  Commenting on the launch of the new practice, he said: 

Copper has identified a need to engage with communities and other stakeholders early in the economic development process when they can really help to shape objectives and outcomes.  This is particularly relevant in the context of the ‘levelling up’ agenda, the need to meet our net zero target and, most recently, the challenges posed by COVID-19. 

I am excited about the opportunity to grow our involvement in this important area, contributing to successful project delivery with real and lasting societal benefits.” 

Copper is part of a multi-disciplinary consortium recently appointed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help local authorities across England access the £3.6 billion Towns Fund.