Newham Council secures funding from Innovate UK to accelerate net zero targets

A green economy for Beckton and North Woolwich

• £299,992 funding will support Newham’s ambitious approach to becoming a net zero council by 2030 and net zero as a borough by 2045

Newham Council has been announced as one of the 21 local authority beneficiaries in partnership with UEL to be awarded £299,992 funding through the £6m Fast Followers initiative as part of the wider Innovate UK Net Zero Living program.

Innovate UK’s Net Zero Living Programme is a £60 million, three-year program that aims to help places and businesses across the UK to accelerate the delivery of the transition to net zero. Local authorities play an important part in directly addressing or influencing up to 30% of the UK’s total carbon emissions and in Newham, the urgent need to transition towards a green, inclusive economy is a key focus area for the local area economic growth.

A Green Economy in Newham is one which delivers for both the environment and local communities. This funding will enable the Council to develop a participatory approach to identify and develop the potential of a green economy sector across the borough, working with the community of nearly 45,000 businesses registered or trading in Newham. The green economy in London is already worth £48bn in sales and employed over 300,000 people in 2019/20, and has significant opportunity to grow. The opportunity is to capture the growth opportunities in order to serve both a greening of the economy and the building of highly skilled and well-paying opportunities for Newham’s residents.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, said: “Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, we have been working hard to put together clear commitments and action to support our transition towards a greener economy.

“The new funding secured is much-welcomed support which will enable us to break down the systematic non-technical barriers to actions we face in our borough to be able to transition Newham's economy to one that delivers for people and planet.

“I am looking forward to working with our team to start this exciting change journey to accelerate our ambitions to reach our net zero targets.”

The funding secured along with UEL will help Newham deliver a program aimed to understand the barriers to adopting sustainable practices, understanding and challenging perceptions, and collectively building a transition plan along with diverse local businesses and communities. Working closely with UEL, the Newham Green Economy transition programme will have four key areas of work to ultimately enable long-term socio-technical change.

UEL's Sustainability Research Institute will undertake research with Newham residents and businesses to investigate experiences of barriers and opportunities around achieving a green transition in Newham. The research findings will inform a best-practice approach for meaningful engagement by Newham’s communities with the Council’s Green Economy strategy.

Alongside this work, supported by Fast Followers’ access to technical expertise, the programme will explore the potential of sector-specific Green Economy catalyst hubs to build and respond to locally-relevant opportunities in the green economy.

A new Green Economy Lead officer will also be hired to lead this work, working directly with the Director of Community Wealth Building and the Director of Climate Action to provide leadership and advocacy at the heart of the organisation.

For more information about Newham’s plans to address the Climate Emergency, please visit the Newham website.

Published: 30 May 2023