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Local authority projects receive £25m in Net Zero funding

Innovate UK’s Net Zero Living programme has launched a £25m package of funding to help accelerate net zero in regions and local communities.

Seven local authorities will receive  funding of between £2 million and £5 million to run practical demonstrator projects to show how the non-technical barriers to implementing carbon-cutting measures can be overcome.

The projects include:

Leicestershire County Council will lead on a project which will focus on community energy, developing 14 projects using citizen engagement and innovative financing to meet the needs of the local community. It will include an advisory service to be rolled out across the county and aims to generate a pipeline of investible projects.

City of York Council will undertake a project aiming to eliminate the barriers to retrofitting properties with carbon reduction measures. It will involve engagement with residents, creating ‘deep retrofit’ demonstrator homes, developing supply chain skills and ways to match approved suppliers and products to needs, and exploring innovative financing methods.

Bristol City Council have received nearly £5m to run a programme of engagement with citizens in three neighbourhoods to identify net zero projects, infrastructure and data requirements and financing mechanisms, and to develop local supply chain skills to meet local net zero needs.

Rossendale will embark on a project to develop a community-scale service model for delivering decarbonised ground source heat and power to terraced streets, which are constrained in terms of space. The model addresses citizen engagement and tests a financing format with no up-front costs.

Mike Biddle, Executive Director for Net Zero at Innovate UK, said: ‘We know that many local authorities find it hard to plan and deliver decarbonisation of heat, power, and transport locally. Often the technology is available, but there are big gaps in capability, resource, and evidence of what works best in reality.

‘That’s why we have issued this package of targeted support to help places all around the UK tackle the challenges, prove what can be done, share experiences and speed up their journey to net zero.’

At the same time, Innovate UK will also start working with a wider cohort of around 50 local authorities on a two-year Future Ready programme. This will involve practical support in the form of training, skills-building and shared learning, as they take the steps needed to become net zero places in the coming years.

Called ‘Future Ready’, this work will provide technical help to councils in the form of training, skills-building and one-to-one support.

The Future Ready programme will focus particularly on five areas which are considered to be the most important for net zero progress: Visioning & Citizen Engagement,  Planning, Finance & Investment, Data
Policy and Regulation.

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