This week I was pleased to see the Prime Minister announce ambitious investments for a Green Industrial Revolution in Britain, supporting up to 250,000 green jobs across the UK.
These plans are so important as we work to tackle climate change and recover from the Coronavirus pandemic. They are a very welcome boost to my own plans and what we are already doing in the West of England region to support a green recovery.
My Regional Recovery Plan outlines how we will support jobs and businesses while building back greener and accelerating the transition to net zero carbon. We are offering Green Business Grants, and investment through the Low Carbon Challenge Fund, funded from the European Regional Development Fund, to help our SMEs reduce their emissions and improve energy efficiency.
I am also investing in skills, training and our careers advice programmes to help both experienced residents and young people find ‘jobs of the future’ in the low carbon sector.
Already, thousands of people are employed in the West of England’s low carbon sector. I see the sector’s potential for growth and creating more jobs in the future, so I will continue to support it, and work to attract more investment to the region.
Our region is a national hub for nuclear innovation and services thanks to Hinckley Point nearby. This places us at the front of the queue to benefit from the Prime Minister’s announcement that the government will be supporting new nuclear power. Likewise, the Prime Minister’s ambition for the UK to become the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind’ therefore presents a real opportunity for the world-leading wind power engineering and services firms based in the region
And I am already supporting local renewable energy generation right here in the region. Last month, I was proud that the Combined Authority’s Local Energy Scheme awarded £500,000 towards a new 150m tall wind turbine at Avonmouth. This project has secured planning permission and will generate electricity for around 3850 homes, saving over 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Significantly, this was a community-led project set up by local charity Ambition Lawrence Weston and will include a Learning Zone to help schools and communities learn about renewable energy. There is great enthusiasm about sustainability and a green future across the West of England and I am proud to help make this a reality.
From investing in sustainable transport such as our rail network and new cycle routes, to supporting residents to gain the skills they need to find jobs in our growing low carbon sector, I have already been supporting a sustainable future and green recovery.
Now, I look forward to working with the Government to secure more funding to accelerate my ambition and truly see a Green Industrial Revolution for the West of England.