Canary Wharf College 2, Glenworth Avenue

Client: Canary Wharf College
Location: London

Canary Wharf College appointed our Strategic Communications team to provide a political and community engagement strategy to support a planning application for a three storey Free School on Glenworth Avenue in the Isle of Dogs. The application for a school for 280 pupils and 30 staff had been in for planning for over four months with a strong local opposition campaign against the application, and minimal political support, when our team was appointed.

Key challenges

When our team was brought on board, a local opposition campaign had already commenced. This was spearheaded by immediate neighbours and had resulted in two petitions and over 40 individual local objections to the application as well as concerns from local councillors.

Working closely with our infrastructure planning team, we were able to devise a programme of political and community engagement which included:

  • Intensive engagement with senior politicians and local ward members including the new (at the time) Mayor of Tower Hamlets and leaders of each political party
  • Engagement with local residents including neighbours and parents on waiting lists for future school places in the Isle of Dogs.



Over a period of three months, we were able to outweigh the local opposition campaign by demonstrating overwhelming local community support for the new school with over 500 letters of support from local residents and strong political backing from senior councillors.

The application was approved by the Development Committee in December 2015.

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