The London Resort is a proposed world-class, sustainable, next-generation entertainment resort on the banks of the River Thames. As the first of its kind, the project called for best practice, innovative consultation and engagement. Copper was brought on board to deliver a comprehensive communications campaign capable of building support for this unique project, while delivering compliant consultation to support the planning process.



There was a commitment to investors to submit the project planning application by the end of 2020, which necessitated consultation and engagement activities being delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic at a time where traditional consultation techniques were not possible. We therefore needed to innovate to ensure a compliant consultation and generate advocacy for the project. However, digital-only statutory consultation was unchartered territory.



We adopted a digital-first approach, primarily driven by disruption caused by the pandemic yet with benefits beyond overcoming national COVID-19 restrictions. It was the first time a digital-only approach was applied in a UK Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and required a highly specialised programme.

Central to the approach was making the consultation user-focused to reach a diverse audience, including those who prefer to access information digitally and those who would normally have chosen to attend public events and in-person meetings. The campaign was designed to ensure it was an inclusive, engaging experience for stakeholders using innovative tools and techniques.


We maximised the use of state-of-the-art tools and online platforms, including a project website, social media channels, dedicated consultation webinars and a virtual consultation room.

The virtual consultation room was made interactive. Using digital banners, visitors were able to look around the room from a computer or mobile device, with the project proposals explained in a way that was easy to understand. The proposals were also made available in audio format.

To avoid the risk of digital exclusion we supplemented digital innovation with traditional consultation methods, including:

  • community information leaflets delivered to households in nearby areas
  • telephone surgeries for representatives from seldom heard groups
  • hard copies of consultation materials produced ensuring all stakeholders’ needs could be met

We also utilised press, paid-for print and digital advertising, plus partnership promotion to extend the campaign’s reach as far as possible.


Our digital-first approach delivered a legally compliant consultation that successfully supported the planning process. As a result, it was accepted for consideration by the Planning Inspectorate. The strategy also enabled the client to meet the investor commitment to submit plans in 2020.

By incorporating a user-focused approach, we maximised the effectiveness of the publicity and advocacy campaign which was integral to the project’s successful Development Consent Order (DCO) application, making London Resort the first business or commercial project to reach such a milestone.

Delivering state-of-the-art digital consultation enabled us to widen the reach of the consultation. Combined with the unique nature of the theme park, the digital strategy created a dedicated following for the project, with 65% of people agreeing it will benefit the local area. Support was sufficiently strong we were able to utilise the advocacy to leverage our efforts towards gaining DCO acceptance.