The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is supporting the Government’s first ever Green GB Week as part of its commitment to clean growth, sustainable transport, and helping tackle climate change.
At the start of Green GB Week, on October 15, WECA is holding a clean growth workshop with business and academics to look at local innovation, and identify the region’s strengths, opportunities, and challenges. The workshop will inform the West of England Local Industrial Strategy, which aims to deliver on the region’s ambition to be a driving force for clean and inclusive growth.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “The move towards cleaner economic growth, through low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources, is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time and the West of England is determined to play a role in providing the technologies, innovations, goods and services.
“Whole new industries will be created by the UK’s clean economy and existing industries transformed, moving towards a low carbon, more resource-efficient economy. The West of England is well-placed to lead this work, and it’s vital that we grasp the opportunities and benefits that clean growth will bring to all parts of society – from new jobs to cleaner air.”
WECA and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are also developing a new Energy Strategy, looking at energy supply, generation and demand to set priorities for a resilient, low carbon and affordable energy system which will inform the Local Industrial Strategy.
The opportunities for clean growth in energy are also being explored, with WECA and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) leading the new South West Local Energy Hub, in partnership with seven other LEPs (Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, Heart of South West, GFirstLEP, Swindon & Wiltshire, Dorset, Bournemouth & Poole, and Solent). The Energy Hub will identify and co-ordinate the development of key energy projects across the partnership area.
The Joint Local Transport Plan, which is being led by WECA working with Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, will go out to public consultation in early 2019. This will set out the vision for transport investment in the West of England, considering a wide range of options to support sustainable and greener travel including cycling, walking, bus, rail, mass rapid transit, and electric/ autonomous vehicles.
As part of Green GB Week, WECA will also be attending the Energy Transition conference, organised by Bristol Energy Network at the Arnolfini on October 19.