The Breedon Group is one of the UK’s leading construction materials suppliers, producing cement, aggregates, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete for use in a wide range of industries.
Its Hope Cement Works is the largest cement making operation in the country, employing 200 people and contributing £61m to the local economy annually. Breedon’s quarries and plants produce the essential materials that build homes, workplaces and leisure spaces. From roads to runways, houses to hospitals, walkways to warehouses, its products support better infrastructure across the UK.
In September, Breedon carried out a public consultation on its plans to apply for an extension to the terms of its existing planning permission, to bring alternative raw materials to the site by rail. The materials are more sustainable and environmentally friendly and if planning permissions is granted, should see a reduction in lorry traffic to and from the site. The proposed development represents investment of around £12m, will take around 18 months to complete and could help to create employment opportunities for local people at a time of economic uncertainty.
Breedon held several face-to-face exhibitions to consult with people in the surrounding villages and local organisations and groups on the proposals. However, because of social distancing measures and restrictions on public meetings due to coronavirus, it tasked Quiet Storm with creating a 360° virtual tour of the exhibition which allowed those who couldn’t view the proposals in person to do so online.
We helped to design and produce a set of printed exhibition boards for the events, which displayed key information about the proposals, their benefits and their potential impact on the local area,
We also spent a day at the site of the exhibition filming the room using specialist 360° photography equipment, so we could create the virtual display. It enables people to view the room and each of the exhibition panels online, as if they were there in person. And we created dedicated additional pages on Breedon’s main website to host the virtual exhibition tour, along with other information about the consultation and the proposals. The site enables residents to find out more, as well as download a PDF of the exhibition boards, containing all the relevant information.
Andi Hodgson, a communications consultant who worked on the project, said:
“Hope Cement Works plays a key role in the heart of the local community and has a long history of engaging with residents to build positive relationships. It regularly opens its gates to the public for open days and special events and is a big supporter of local initiatives. We also believe in being transparent and building understanding about what we do, and these events were aimed at doing just that.
“The virtual tour Quiet Storm created for us enabled us to reach a wider audience and get the proposals in front of people who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to attend because of COVID restrictions.”