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Black Country Technical Assistance: Delivering workshops to help support applications to ERDF Funds in the Black Country

Lead Organisation

Sustainability West Midlands Project Manager: Tom Hendy (Sustainability Adviser)


The Black Country Technical Assistance (BCTA) team recognised the work carried out by SWM in the past and its proven track record of delivering high quality events. As a result, SWM was commissioned to organise and facilitate a series of workshop events to deliver information on a range of topics relating to ERDF Funding. Each event included industry experts and speakers from successful projects to share their knowledge to those wanting to follow their example. It also provided an ideal opportunity to network with those in the same industry and sector, facilitating the creation of new ideas and connections.


  • Deliver an introduction to ERDF opportunities in the Black Country region.
  • Provide an overview of regional context, supported by industry leaders.
  • Improve the understanding of how to create a successful project application with support from case studies of successful projects and the team behind them.
  • Outline the key eligibility criteria as well as application routes.
  • Support those moving forward with a clear understanding of the ‘next steps.’

Results and achievements

As a result of appointing SWM in this role, we were able to provide sustainability a series of successful workshops for the BCTA.  The following achievements were realised:
  • SWM facilitated four successful workshops across two days in key and iconic locations in the Black Country. Attracting a range of professionals, academics and more to share their ideas and learn from others.
  • The workshops attracted approximately 55 members of the public, private and third sectors to share their knowledge and understanding, but to further develop it also. As a result of attending, they are now better equipped to create successful project applications or further their work and organisation.
  • Successfully secured key industry leaders whom delivered presentations on the opportunities available in the region, with case studies from their own projects to support their ideas.
  • Provided an opportunity for delegates and members of the SWM & BCTA teams to network with one another, allowing them to bounce their ideas off each other.

“The BCTA would highly recommend the services of SWM. BCTA worked with SWM in 2018 to assist with event management services across the Black Country. SWM provided an efficient and professional service throughout the contract whilst keeping the BCTA team up to date on the progress of objectives. All members of the team added to the events in making them a success and were very approachable throughout. We would look to work with SWM again and would advocate them for work with other organisations. “–   – Oliver Nash, Project Development Officer, Black Country Technical Assistance Team

Download the Full Case Study

Lead Organisation

Sustainability West Midlands Project Manager: Simon Slater (formerly Chief Executive)


Sustainable development is a complex agenda, how can it be interpreted and practically applied by regional, public sector organizations? SWM set out to answer this question in the context of Advantage West Midlands (AWM). The aim of this was to help build the understanding, confidence, and capacity of regional organizations to practically integrate sustainable development into their strategic and operational processes. The aim of this work was to take national good practice, in the form of the Sustainable Development Action Plans (SDAP) required to be produced and reported on annually by Government Departments to the Sustainable Development Commission, and adapt for regional public bodies such as AWM.

Results and achievements

  • AWM moved from the bottom to the top of the league table of corporate sustainability performance within the RDA network
  • The creation of a board champion for future generations to chair the new sustainability sub-committee of the board to measure the progress of the SDAP
  • Creation of small sustainability team of staff and co-located staff within AWM to drive ‘mainstreaming’
  • Using the opportunity to refresh the economic strategy to produce the UK’s first low carbon regional economic strategy
  • Internal environmental management system that led to operational savings from waste and energy efficiency measures
  • Sustainability criteria built into funding investments, business support, and land and property development. This included a new carbon reduction target and reporting measures
  • Developing a new sustainability standard for large sites, that was incorporated into Regional Planning Guidance
  • Tailored training and support for the board, staff and partners to help them deliver their role in the SDAP

Download the full case study

For further information on the project or to work with us in one of a variety of ways, please contact the SWM team at enquiries@swm.org.uk.

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