Ambitious plans for residents, businesses and other groups to work together with Leicestershire County Council to help make Leicestershire a net zero carbon county by 2045 have taken another step forward, after the authority was awarded £63,000 in funding.
The funding boost has come from Innovate UK, and will allow the council and its partners to develop detailed plans for the best way to work together to deliver the net zero target and eliminate barriers to making net zero a reality by 2045.
Leicestershire was chosen as one of 31 places to receive the Net Zero Living Programme funding – and is also in with a chance of taking the project forward to phase 2, which will see six of those 31 places awarded £5m to deliver their net zero plans.
The county project is named Leicestershire CAN (Collaboration to Accelerate Net Zero), and is a partnership led by the county council working together with expert national consultancy the Energy Systems Catapult, and local community delivery specialists Green Fox Community Energy Co-operative. The project will also work alongside the county’s district and borough councils, Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
Innovate UK is a prestigious organisation, and it is a major achievement for us to secure this funding in what is a very competitive process.
The funding is awarded to projects which lead the way in the net zero field, so for us to be recognised and rewarded in this way highlights the value of our net zero plans and shows that we are serious about making them a reality.
Our Net Zero Strategy and Action Plan was approved by full council at the end of last year, and this funding now allows us to take it to the next level, by developing a model to allow all partners to work together and remove the barriers to delivery of our net zero aims.
Person:Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for the environment and the green agenda
Leicestershire County Council will find out whether it has been chosen to go forward to the second phase of the project and receive a further £5m in funding later this year.
Tom Elliot, practice manager for business model innovation at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “Leicestershire has been recognised as a leader in its pursuit of net zero. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Leicestershire County Council to develop an innovative approach to long-term, place-based net zero planning and delivery.
"Our work across the UK helping local communities to decarbonise will provide market-leading insight to the partnership, helping the council to further explore how they can accelerate delivery of the Net Zero Leicestershire Strategy and Action Plan. We can’t wait to get started and help the county and its people take the next step on their decarbonisation journey.”
Ben Dodd, a director of Green Fox Community Energy Co-operative said: “Working innovatively with partners in this way means that we can accelerate community-based net zero delivery, ensuring local people play a meaningful and active part in the decarbonisation of Leicestershire.”