NW Bicester

ClientA2Dominion
LocationBicester, Oxford
Services

Background 

NW Bicester is the UK’s first eco town, set to create up to 6,000 new eco homes. Led by A2Dominion in partnership with Cherwell District Council, the development pioneers the highest standards in sustainable living and construction that can be enjoyed for generations to come. A2Dominion is leading a vibrant new community that is an integral part of wider Bicester.

Key project information

  • 2016 marked the occupation of the first 91 homes, Elmsbrook.
  • Elmsbrook comprises 393 highly energy efficient homes, a local centre and 40% green space.
  • A2Dominion has secured outline planning for two applications for a further 206 hectares of the Masterplan site. These applications are the next steps towards the delivery of NW Bicester and in total, encompass 3,500 new homes, 40% green space, a range of community facilities including schools, community halls, GP provision, parks, recreation and employment space.

A2Dominion has received approval to deliver key infrastructure to unlock the site, including a strategic link road and supporting construction. 

How we assisted 

A2Dominion appointed us in 2013 to devise and manage a robust, integrated communications and stakeholder engagement strategy for NW Bicester. We are delivering an ongoing solid strategic stakeholder and community consultation in parallel with a proactive communications strategy.

The communications strategy was initially focused on the development benefits at NW Bicester, understanding the local community needs and challenges, the reach of the scheme and maximising brand awareness to encourage further demand. PR support evolved to raising awareness of Elmsbrook as the first residents moved in, focusing on sustainability, transport, local initiatives and community wellbeing to raise its profile further as part of NW Bicester.

As part of the holistic support offered as part of the communications strategy, we supported NW Bicester construction and development milestones, award wins and led a proactive and reactive approach to raising the profile of the scheme in trade media. A bespoke stakeholder and consumer website was launched, where content generation was key to keeping audiences engaged. This site has evolved for sales use and will be used throughout the additional phases of the scheme. More recently, we carried out a detailed review and refresh of the website now that part one of Elmsbrook has been delivered. This will be launched in 2018.

Outcome 

We have successfully built relationships with key influencers, stakeholders and third parties and exceeded client expectations with positive media coverage:

  • High engagement with generated content
  • More than 285 Business Portal sign-ups helping with local positioning
  • Over 3,000 members of the public attended the community days 

Awards won

  • The award for Sustainability in the 2016 Constructing Excellence in London and South-East Awards
  • Best New Build Project in the 2016 SHIFT awards
  • A bronze special commendation award in the Best Eco Living category for the Evening Standard New Homes Awards 2016.
  • The project also won the Housebuilder Best Low or Zero Carbon initiative two years in a row.