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Sent:                                               19 December 2017 14:33

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Subject:                                         SWM News December 2017: Thanks for your support in 2017, and Merry  Christmas


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Sustainability West Midlands

SWM News December 2017: Thanks for your support in 2017, and Merry Christmas


Our CommentThanks for your support in 2017, and Merry Christmas

As 2017 comes to a close, we reflect on what has been a successful year at SWM. We have delivered many interesting projects for new partners, appointed our new Chair Tim Haywood and Young Director Matt Beveridge to the board, recruited new staff and have a whole host of new members. After several difficult years it feels like we may have turned a corner, with sustainability and the low carbon economy being central to policies such as the Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy.

Here are just some of our highlights in 2017:

  • Working with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) as sustainability delivery partner. Helping establish the Environment Board and associated delivery programme. Providing benchmarking against other combined authorities.
  • Working with BEIS to repeat our previous national benchmark of LEPs and this time including combined authorities and Core Cities in our analysis. Sharing the results at a national conference in Birmingham.
  • Supporting low carbon energy activity including Energy Capital, the development of the Marches LEP Energy Strategy and the delivery of heat network feasibility studies with Warwick District Council.
  • Hosting our seventh successful annual conference for 100 delegates with WM Mayor Andy Street returning to share his vision for sustainability, Baroness Brown of Cambridge showcasing the work of the Committee on Climate Change and our stakeholders contributing to the shaping of the WMCA Environment Programme.
  • Coordinating nine good practice networks for businesses, local authorities, the health sector, universities and community groups focusing on innovation, resilience and sustainability.

We couldn’t deliver this activity without the support of our funders, board, members and stakeholders and we would like to thank each one of you for working with us this year.

We’ve just published the results of our annual customer survey and will work on the feedback received to ensure we go from strength to strength in 2018.

Anna Bright, Chief Executive, on behalf of the SWM team.

Funding opportunities

  • By 15 January 2018. Grow Wild is awarding £2,000 or £4,000 to groups and projects which focus on native UK wildflowers, plants or fungi.
  • By 26 January 2018. A £3m research and innovation ERDF call is open in GBSLEP, which could include suitable low carbon projects.
  • By 30 March 2018. GBSLEP is looking for proposals to its Sustainable Urban Development programme. £11m of ERDF is available.
  • By March 2019. SMEs can obtain free energy audits and 40% grant funding towards energy efficiency measures in the Greater Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country areas.
  • £84 million of funding is available for artificial intelligence, robotics research and smart energy innovation through various government initiatives.
  • Innovate UK has up to £19 million to invest in the best ideas for new innovations in a wide range of technology and business areas.

Since 1 April 2017, we have promoted £500 million of accessible funding.

Upcoming SWM and member events

A full list of our members is on our website.

Other SWM and member updates

  • The Environment Agency’s awards are held in March 2018 for projects that have delivered excellent results in flood prevention, coastal risk or resilience.
  • sben is recruiting for an Environmental Support Assistant, the closing date for which is 4 January 2018.

SWM members can send their events, research or other contributions to to be included in the next issue for no extra charge. Not a member? There are many advantages to SWM membership; find out more here

Other news and events

  • Devolution. The second devolution deal for the West Midlands has been agreed and contains commitments related to energy, transport and air quality.
  • Health. The WMCA has released West Midlands on the Move, aiming to help promote physical activity whilst achieving economic goals.
  • Energy. Heart of England Community Energy is about to launch its first share offer allowing people to purchase shares in three solar farms in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
  • Industrial Strategy. We have posted a brief regional overview of the Industrial Strategy, published at the end of November, on our website.
  • Awards. Nominations for the sixth NHS Sustainability Awards are open until March, awarding prizes to professionals working to improve environmental outcomes.
  • UK Energy Research Centre has produced a report examining UK local authority clean energy plans and investments.
  • Waste. The government has published a report looking at the link between prosperity and resource efficiency.

We hope you enjoyed reading our newsletter. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter, are interested in becoming a member or have news stories, events, case studies and reports, please visit our website or contact us.

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