The Peterborough-based PR and communications agency is one of eight nominees in the southern shortlist for the Community Engagement Campaign of the Year category of The Golden Hedgehog PR Awards 2013.
The Golden Hedgehogs celebrate and recognise outstanding PR agencies and exceptional PR talent across the UK.
Between December 2011 and June 2012 Athene delivered what it describes as a “thorough and wide-ranging” community engagement programme to support Peterborough Garden Park’s planning application for a £15 million pound extension. The development will include a new supermarket.
Peterborough Garden Park received planning permission for the proposal, and is now in the process of talking to various supermarket chains about the site. The development will create up to 300 jobs, as well as a further 150 local jobs during construction.
Athene’s Community Engagement campaign included setting up public exhibitions and community workshops to make sure the neighbouring community was fully informed of the expansion plans.
More than 900 postcards of support and 40 letters of support were received in favour of the proposed new supermarket.
Richard Astle, managing director of Athene Communications, said, “We are proud to have been nominated in the Community Engagement Campaign of the Year category.
“We had to ensure the campaign for Peterborough Garden Park met and exceeded new government guidelines in the Localism Act which places greater emphasis on developers to prioritise effective community engagement at the pre-planning application stage.
“We now have our fingers crossed for the result of the award.”
Athene Communications’ specialist community engagement team helps its clients successfully navigate a new landscape brought about the Localism Act. Athene works with developers to help them engage successfully with local communities, avoiding a state of ‘planning gridlock’.
Gordon Edington, chairman of Peterborough Garden Park, said, “I’m really grateful for all the support that our plans have received and would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views.”
The winners for The Golden Hedgehogs will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Emirates Stadium, London, on Thursday March 21, 2013.