Fit for the Future II

Lead Organisation

Sustainability West Midlands
Project Manager: Alan Carr (Senior Sustainability Adviser)


The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) commissioned SWM to analyse LEP, combined authority and city region progress and appetite to tackle climate change, embrace a low carbon economy and reduce carbon emissions, building on version one of Fit for the Future, first published in 2015. We were also asked to run a second national event on the subject, bringing together key stakeholders from across the country.  The aims of the project were as follows:

  • To promote existing good practice in climate adaptation, mitigation and promoting the low carbon economy through the identification of case studies.
  • To identity where each LEP, city region and combined authority requires improvement either through communicating existing good practice through published documents or by addressing gaps in activities on the ground.
  • To provide a methodology and benchmark that can be repeated annually to help identify further good practice and progress and provide a clearer national set of criteria for LEPs, city regions and combined authorities to work towards on this agenda.
  • To provide recommendations on how government can further improve the support for LEPs, city regions and combined authorities in the delivery of this agenda.
  • To help environmental and sustainability champions within LEP/combined authority Boards, Advisory Committees and ESIF committees to make connections and therefore develop potential future joint projects.
  • Provide a forum for national environmental bodies to present their existing offers of help and understand future support needs in this area.

Results and achievements

Benefits to BEIS:

  • The event provided BEIS with a chance to get their offer of support heard directly by the correct individuals.
  • Identify how and what support BEIS should offer to address gaps and challenges.
  • Identify good practice examples from across the country so that BEIS can roll these out to other authorities.

Benefits to LEPs, city regions and combined authorities:

  • Sharing good practice:  We have included a suite of case studies in the reports reflecting impressive work related to the climate change, energy and low carbon agenda that have been led by local partners and we also included four good practice speakers at the Fit for the Future II event.
  • Identifying opportunities for support: Support and guidance on this agenda can seem fragmented and often it is hard to identify who the right people are to speak to. The event, in particular, helped to clarify some of this by outlining the support that BEIS has to offer, especially recent funding to enable each LEP in England to develop an energy strategy.

On working with SWM, BEIS said: “SWM is one of the few organisations with the experience and reputation we needed to analyse the progress that LEPs, combined authorities and core cities are making on the energy and low carbon agendas. We valued their attention to detail and extensive research techniques, along with their ability to summarise the findings and present them in a clear and concise manner. It was also important to us to work with an independent organisation like SWM who were able to provide honest and realistic recommendations for BEIS and the relevant authorities to take away and reflect on. These will help us to strengthen the low carbon economy across the country.”

Download the full case study

For further information or help, please contact the SWM team on 0121 237 5890 or