New energy strategy for The Marches will create 1,000 low carbon jobs
More than 1,000 new low-carbon jobs will be created and emissions slashed under an ambitious new energy strategy being unveiled for the region.
The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership says its new 10-year energy plan will also see half of the region’s electricity produced by renewable sources by 2030, a national pilot scheme developed for overcoming disruption to the National Grid and fuel poverty cut to below ten per cent.
The LEP – which covers Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin – will officially launch the energy strategy at a major conference called Planning for a Climate Emergency: Delivering a net zero carbon economy in the West Midlands in Ludlow on July 25.
Key points in the blueprint include:
- The creation of 1,000 new jobs in the low carbon and renewable energy sector across the region by 2030
- Developing a pilot project to overcome National Grid constraints which will be used as a national demonstrator
- Continuing to be a national leader in the deployment of anaerobic digestion
- Carbon emissions, excluding agriculture, to be cut by 57 per cent from 1990 levels in line with UK targets
- Reducing fuel poverty below 10 per cent
- Renewable electricity to meet 50 per cent of local demand by 2030
- To develop the region as a national centre of innovation in agriculture and low carbon transition
Graham Wynn, Marches LEP chairman, said the strategy formed a vital part of the LEP’s drive to create the best-possible environment for continued economic growth and prosperity across the region over the next decade.
“We can only continue to grow our economy and create the sort of high-skilled high-pay jobs we all want for the region if we get our energy provision right,” he said.
“The Marches is an area with ambitious growth plans – we want to create 58,700 new jobs and 54,400 new homes over the next 20 years – and energy is a vital component in making sure we can meet those targets.
“The current energy infrastructure is already at capacity in many areas and while this is a threat to plans it is also an opportunity for us to invest in innovative solutions which also meet some of the environmental challenges facing us all.
“This strategy sets a clear path to both growing our economy and responding to the threat of climate change for the generations to come.”
The strategy says that by 2030 The Marches area should have an energy generation and supply system which is flexible and reliable, delivering energy that is low carbon and low cost to businesses and communities.
The system should also be capable of accommodating planned growth and supporting well developed low carbon supply chains.
The LEP is being supported by the Midlands Energy Hub, which is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of the Clean Growth Strategy. The role of the Midlands Energy Hub is to support the capacity of Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities to identify and deliver local energy strategies and projects.
The Ludlow conference, being held at the town’s racecourse, brings together business, local government and community groups involved in creating the clean energy and low carbon economy transition in the West Midlands.
A series of workshops and presentations will run throughout the day, relating to local and neighbourhood planning, local governance and opportunities for business growth in the low carbon sector.
About the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership
- The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is driving accelerated economic growth through investment in innovation, higher level skills, housing and business sites across the region.
- The Marches region, which includes Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, is a dynamic business region where entrepreneurs flourish alongside global players. Covering 2,300 sq miles and with a growing population of 684,300, it is home to 30,775 businesses and a £14.3 billion economy.
- Bordered by the West Midlands to the east and Wales to the west, the Marches' key centres of population and employment are the city of Hereford and thriving towns of Shrewsbury and Telford. A network of 25 smaller market towns and a large rural area make up the rest of the settlement mix – with the Marches recognised as being one of the most enterprising regions in the UK
- High profile businesses which have chosen to base operations here include BAE Defence Systems; GKN; Westons Cider; Grainger & Worrall; Stadco; Caterpillar; Mϋller Dairy UK, Doncasters Aerospace, Denso, Capgemini, Ricoh, Cargill, Heineken, Grocontinental, McConnels, Kerry Ingredients, Special Metals, Kingspan and Makita
- The Marches is also home to centres of excellence and institutions which promote and foster the transfer of knowledge including Harper Adams University and its National Centre for Precision Farming, University Centre Shrewsbury, the University of Wolverhampton campus and e-innovation centre at Priorslee, and Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury
- The designated Enterprise Zone of the Marches LEP is in Hereford, at Skylon Park. It is the only Enterprise Zone in England with a unique defence and security sector focus, drawing on the city's heritage as the home of the SAS
- The LEP area is home to some iconic places of interest. The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, the Shropshire Hills and the Wye Valley Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Offa’s Dyke, the rivers Severn and Wye, and places of national renown including Ludlow and Ross-on-Wye make it a highly popular place to both visit and relocate to
- The Marches has a diverse business base and is recognised for its sector strength in advanced manufacturing and engineering; agri-food and drink; automotive and defence & security
- Business support in the Marches is offered via the Marches Growth Hub, a business-friendly website at marchesgrowthhub.co.uk and helpline on 0345 6000 727, developed by the LEP
- You can learn more about the Marches LEP at marcheslep.org.uk and contact the LEP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Midlands Energy Hub
The Midlands Energy Hub will support the implementation of the Energy Strategies by:
- Sharing knowledge and experience gained on energy projects across the Midlands region
- Identification of energy projects that will facilitate the decarbonisation of the region
- Assistance with research, business cases and feasibility studies
- Facilitation of meetings and dissemination of information across departments and agencies