Delapré Abbey Case Study


How giving back helped Delapré Abbey build a future


About the Company

Delapré Abbey is a beautiful Grade II Listed building located just one mile from Northampton town centre. Following the success of a Heritage Lottery Fund application in 2013, a £7 million project was undertaken that transformed this historic Abbey from a “Building At Risk” to it being open to the public for the first time in its 900 year history. Alongside the Abbey itself, there are gardens and Delapré Park, meaning there is a great deal to discover.


The Requirements

Only a few years after Delapré Abbey had finally opened its doors to the public, Covid-19 hit. Visits to the Abbey had to be halted, and weddings were cancelled. But the Abbey’s newly recruited CEO, Richard Clinton, who only took up the role in April 2020, was determined not to be disheartened by this. He wanted to find a way to offer something positive and bring a little joy and hope into people’s lives during what was the start of a very dark period. That’s when he spoke with Pilkington Communications.

Richard Clinton, CEO

Richard Clinton, CEO


The Activity

One of the first things Pilkington Communications did was explore what Richard wanted to achieve. He explained that he wanted to recognise the incredible dedication of key and essential workers during, what was at the time, the first lockdown. With so many weddings having to be cancelled, Pilkington Communications suggested that a Wedding With Thanks competition might be the perfect thing to do.


The competition offered the chance for one lucky couple to win a wedding with all the trimmings, but only individuals who were key workers under the UK Government’s Covid-19 definition could be nominated.


People could nominate themselves, a friend, a colleague or a family member, and at least one person in the nominated couple needed to be a carer, key or essential worker. The news that Pilkington Communications created around the competition explained that this was Delapré Abbey’s way of giving back and saying thank you to those who have worked tirelessly to make an extraordinary difference during challenging times.


Outcomes and Results

More than 300 couples entered the competition. It was a huge success. The final couple who won were a police officer and a nurse, and this very worthy pair are set to wed in 2022.


Following the campaign, many wedding bookings started to pour in, and although the Abbey has had to shut its doors for a long time during the pandemic, they have lots planned in for the future.


Furthermore, Pilkington Communications was nominated as a finalist in the Marketing Campaign of the Year category in the All Things Business Northampton Excellence Awards 2020.


The Future

The Abbey was so pleased with the work that Pilkington Communications did and the impact it made, they commissioned an Adapt Recover, Rebuild package to support the PR and strategic communications moving forward. Pilkington Communications is currently doing a lot of ongoing work with the Delapré Abbey.


Richard commented: “I was very impressed with how Pilkington Communications was able to take my simple idea of giving back and create such an effective campaign. The competition was exactly the sort of thing I wanted. They really listened to me and understood what we wanted to achieve, and then gave us even more than I expected. We have so many weddings now booked in for the future just following the work they did. I’d recommend Jessica and her team to anyone looking PR & Communications support.”