West Midlands Combined Authority – Sustainability Support Programme

The aim

The aim of this support programme is to align the existing SWM advisory role more closely to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Single Economic Plan (SEP) programme, while helping engage key stakeholders in our sector and the 3 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and using our specialist expertise and evidence to inform the SEP development and testing.

The scope

The audience is the WMCA leadership. This includes chief executives, councillors, LEP board members and their advisers. The WMCA boundary includes a core grouping of local authorities with voting rights and a range of associate bodies such as surrounding local authorities and the Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull, and Coventry and Warwickshire LEPs.

The focus is on the development of the SEP and associated delivery programmes which aims to help support cross-LEP and local authority activity where it adds value to improve long-term economic productivity.

The activity

The phase 1 of support activity included the following.

Policy – evidence base and independent monitoring

  • 2016 update of low carbon business and research strengths, sustainability benchmarking of good practice across LEPs and local authorities.
  • Independent sustainability review of SEP and oversight of support programme by SWM Board as ‘critical friend’

Outreach – cross sector networks and communications

  • SWM annual conference focused on key sustainability opportunities for WMCA.
  • Workshop with LEPs and local councils on current good local practice that could be scaled up.
  • Regular updates to our networks on the WMCA and opportunities to get involved.

Investment – promoting and securing

  • Developing low carbon funding portal that can be integrated into local business growth hub offer for business.

Programmes – development and delivery

Building on previous cross-LEP work to identify potential WMCA programmes including:

  • Energy efficient housing
  • Local energy generation and networks
  • Low carbon vehicle recharging network
  • Community green infrastructure
  • Integrated site and business support programmes

The phase 2 of activity is currently being agreed.


The support programme began in January 2016. Phase 1 completed in May 2016 and reported in June and July 2016. Currently new support programme being agreed.

Further information

Look at the downloads at the end of this page, the project updates below or in our monthly newsletters, or contact us on enquiries@swm.org.uk or call 0121 237 5890.

Project updates

8/7/16 SWM progress update to WMCA Programme Board – agreement in principle by SWM Board and WMCA for SWM to become a WMCA delivery partner.

28/6/16 SWM progress update to SWM Board

21/3/16 SWM progress update to SWM Board

22/1/16 WMCA programme Board approves initial SWM support programme

8/1/16 SWM Board agree advisory role for WMCA



Link to SWM update to WMCA Programme Board – July 2016
Link to SWM progress update to SWM Board – June 2016
Link to Report on West Midlands Local Authority Benchmarking – June 2016
Link to Report on Low Carbon and Business Research Strengths in the West Midlands – May 2016
Link to SWM progress update to SWM Board – March 2016
Link to SWM national review of LEPs and Sustainability – January 2016
Link to draft sustainability review of the WMCA prospectus and devolution deal – November 2015
Link to WMCA presentation as part of SWM annual conference – October 2015