Neptunus rise to the challenge at G7 Cornwall Summit
G7 – the ‘Group of Seven’ – is the annual gathering of government leaders of some of the richest nations in the world. Countries which make up the G7 have been meeting since the early 1970s. In 2021 it was the UK’s turn to host the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan at the 47th convention.
The purpose of these summits is for Presidents, Prime Ministers and other senior government figures of each country to discuss world issues including the economy, climate change challenges, health emergencies and aid for poorer nations.
Carbis Bay, on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall, was the focus of world attention during the summit and in the weeks leading up to it. These high-profile gatherings present a huge logistical and security challenge for the host nation. The 2021 G7, held against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and all the measures required to combat the spread of coronavirus, including social distancing regulations, meant the event was the most complex summit ever for organisers to plan.
Neptunus, renowned for providing temporary structures to major international events for world governments and organisations such as NATO and the United Nations, were appointed to create a wide range of facilities to accommodate the global media attending G7. They also built structures for security requirements and to accommodate the Covid-19 ‘track and trace’ testing procedures to ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone attending.
Neptunus were appointed by Identity Group, the world leading human experience agency, who produce global events for governments and many of the world’s most prestigious organisations and businesses. Neptunus have collaborated with Identity on a number of successful high-profile projects over the years.
For the 2021 edition of G7 a 35-strong team of Neptunus technicians, including structure builders, scaffolders, lift engineers and a site manager, took just ten days to erect over 3,500 square metres of temporary structures at two locations in Falmouth and at Tregenna Castle in Carbis Bay — the luxurious 5-star hotel where the world leaders stayed for the summit.
In Falmouth, a Alu Hall double-deck structure formed the International Broadcast Centre while an Alure Globe accommodated the G7 Media Centre providing facilities for hundreds of members of the Press and photographers. Apollo structures housed the all-important Covid-19 Track and Trace test facility with a further Alu Hall accommodating the security check-in and police base.
At Tregenna Castle, a 45-minute drive from Falmouth, Neptunus’ team erected two large temporary structures for Press Briefings. Alu Halls were erected to create elevated positions for the broadcast cameramen to capture images that were beamed to billions of viewers around the world via television and online.
All the equipment installed required disability compliant steps and ramps, with scaffold platforms for raised camera positions and even an accessible lift.
Neptunus were selected for the assignment as a result of their renowned reputation for delivering high quality state-of-the-art temporary structures fast and efficiently. The company has also developed a superb working relationship with client, Identity Group, over many years.
The G7 gathering was the largest event ever held in Cornwall and required one of the biggest security operations on land and sea ever mounted in the UK. All equipment had to be manoeuvred amid the most rigorous of security with all members of the Neptunus team being regularly rested for coronavirus.
For the Tregenna Castle build, all equipment had to be sent to a holding area 45 minutes away from the site to be searched by the police and placed into a quarantine area for cross loading on to smaller vehicles due to restricted access at the hotel. Vehicles were then sent to site in a strict order to meet tight timelines in a meticulous logistical plan.
The magnificent Atlantic views were a key backdrop to G7, and Neptunus’ design team were also challenged to locate structures in positions where Media could get the best film and photographs to emphasis the stunning beauty of the location.
Despite the huge security operation and coronavirus stipulations that need to be worked around, Neptunus’ technicians took just 7 days to build the facilities in Falmouth and 4 days to erect the temporary structures at Tregenna Castle.
David Naylor, Senior Production Manager at Identity, says: “We were pleased to work with Neptunus again on this high-profile event. Ben (Keast – Managing Director) and their wider team’s flexibility and solution-based mindset, coupled with their wide range of structures available, allowed the dynamic project requirements to be regularly adjusted to give us the platform to deliver an incredible event and showcase the UK’s ability to deliver first class events.”
Images: ©Susie Excell