SWM News May
2020 - Could the pandemic spell the end of rural
of us working in the sustainability sector have been thinking about
how the Coronavirus pandemic could impact sustainability,
including those associated with our West Midlands 2030 Roadmap. Some of the
positives to come out of this devastating situation are
environmental, for example with the announcement that globally,
emissions have dropped by a record-breaking 17%.
of the biggest challenges we potentially face as an environmental
movement post-Covid-19 is encouraging people to use already
dwindling public transport options in rural areas. The BBC reported just
before the lockdown began that cuts that had already happened to
rural bus routes had left a million people in the UK without a
regular service. I have had personal experience of this issue where
I live in the north of the region. Since the pandemic, these
services have, understandably, almost ceased entirely.
Government’s response to the decline in rural bus options before
the pandemic was to launch the Rural Mobility Fund and
the Support Bus Services
Fund which represents a positive step, but the
pandemic is a potential game changer. The West Midlands is
very rural and, to achieve our Roadmap objectives associated
with clean and active travel, air quality and carbon reduction, investment in
rural public transport has to happen. But even if it does,
encouraging our rural, often more vulnerable members of
the population to travel on perceived unreliable health
hazards anytime soon could be one of our biggest net zero
are keen to learn of any examples that you are aware
of where a rural bus service has thrived, including how and
why, so get in touch if you can share any good practice.
a full version of the above comment here.
me conclude by drawing your attention to a webinar we are running
with our members Mott MacDonald on 16 June, where we will explore
how the SDGs can be used to enhance the case for investment and
contribute to more effective stakeholder dialogue, leading to more
sustainable outcomes related to our Roadmap. Join us if you can.
safe and best wishes
Carr, Senior Sustainability Adviser, on behalf of the
Sustainability West Midlands Team
- By 31 May
2020. Over the next five
years, Cadent Foundation will be awarding £20+ million of
grants to charities and community groups to support projects
that make a real difference.
- By 4 June
2020. The rural
mobility fund is part of the government's better deal for bus users fund,
the deadline for which has been extended from the 30
- By 8 June
2020. A collaborative R&D competition is
focusing on low carbon vehicle technology, with emphasis on
electrification, energy efficiency and lightweight vehicle
- By 10
June 2020. UKRI's
Embedded Researcher scheme is inviting UK based academic researchers to
apply for placements at non-academic host organisations and
support of £70K.
- By 15
June 2020. ICLEI Action Fund will
grant up to €350,000 to institutes
across Europe to develop environmental projects.
- By 30
June 2020. National Lottery
Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage
sector as an immediate response to the
- By 1 July
UK is investing up to £30m in innovation projects
as part of phase 2 of the ISCF Future Flight
Challenge, a four year £125m programme.
- By 8 July
2020. Up to £30 million is available to
support growth in advanced low carbon propulsion capability in
the automotive sector.
- By 19
October 2020. The MCS
Charitable Foundation is making funding available for a range of
projects that accelerate the adoption of
renewable energy and low carbon technologies.
- By 30
June 2021. The
Worcestershire Natural Networks project aims to boost
biodiversity in an ERDF-funded venture which
includes our members Worcestershire County Council.
- By 31
December 2021. Businesses
in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can benefit from free energy audits and
60% grant funding towards energy efficiency measures.
- By 31
December 2021. Marches
Renewable Energy Grant Scheme allows eligible
applicants to apply for a 50% grant for the installation of
- By 31
December 2022. GBSLEP Habitats Grants Programme is
still open and is focused on reducing dereliction and the
improvement and development of natural habitats.
- By June
2023. Coventry City Council
has extended a further £8.1 million of
funding to support small and medium sized
business in Coventry and Warwickshire.
- By 2025. The Severn Trent Community Fund is
temporarily closed until summer 2020, while some of
the fund is re-aligned to support charities
directly affected by coronavirus.
- Monthly. Monthly themed funding is
available for Birmingham based projects that aim to deliver
- On-going. A New Bounce Back Loans scheme
give Britain’s small businesses a chance to apply for
quick and easy-to access loans of up to £50,000 to help get
through the pandemic.
- On-going. The
Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which
supports rural communities in England to develop renewable
The Community and Environment Fund is
to provide benefits to communities along the route disrupted
by the construction of HS2.
BEIS funding of
around £162 million is available for industrial
research and innovation, including Carbon Capture, Use and
- On-going. The
UK Government is encouraging applications to the Urban
Tree Challenge fund, which has £10 million available for the planting
of trees in urban areas of England.
Community Led Homes funding is
available to groups at every stage of the community led
housing journey up to when the project is completed.
the past year we have promoted >£900 million of accessible
SWM and Member Events
to the current restrictions on travel and work as a result of
coronavirus, some events may be subject to cancellation
or rescheduling. SWM do not organise these events and
we urge you to keep a close eye on our events page for
- SWM and
Mott MacDonald will explore on 16 June how
the SDGs can be used to enhance the case for investment and
contribution to better stakeholder dialogue on
Energy Research Accelerator is
running workshop webinars throughout
the summer which will cover Energy Storage, Heat, and Low
Carbon Alternative Fuels.
Trent is running a Meet the Funder event on
9 June with Get Grants who are eager to discuss the new
support they are offering to charities and non-profit
annual LCV event is on 9 and 10 September in Millbrook
and sales are now open for exhibitors.
Demand for space is already extremely high, so secure
your stand now.
- SWM will
be exhibiting at RWM, the UK’s largest trade show for recycling and waste
management, taking place on 16 & 17
- SWM is
supporting Solar & Storage Live, the UK’s largest renewables expo taking
place 15–17 September, including over 520 participations
at the event’s Innovation Zone.
Environment Agency will
convene its annual Flood & Coast conference
on 8-10 December in Telford, tackling the challenges
of flood risk, resilience and response in a changing climate.
full list of upcoming events is available here as well as our full
member list here.
SWM and Member Updates
welcome new members Accelar, who help accelerate
the clean growth transition in the West Midlands, and Place Partnership, who
provides Energy Management and BMS services.
bid a fond farewell and good wishes to our Volunteer
Communications Officer Jordan Bird, who leaves us after nine
months to continue his Geography studies at Coventry
has launched a new SWM Members-only Forum! To gain access, join us as a member.
has published new case studies of
our recent work with the City of Wolverhampton Council,
Heritage Fund and the Midlands Energy Hub.
City Council is
recruiting for a Stakeholder Engagement Manager
to lead on a local energy partnership project. Deadline
is 7 June.
- SHAP, who
provide leadership and opportunities concerning
sustainable housing issues in the West Midlands, have
opportunities to join their Board. The
opportunity closes on 30 May.
and SHAP are
inviting people to join their USER Project, which is exploring how hot water
cylinders can be made available in all homes.
is supporting GBSLEP to coordinate the WM Low Carbon Steering Group to
advise on delivery of the Low Carbon and Environmental
Technologies Action Plan.
Systems Catapult is
launching an Innovator Challenge call for SMEs developing Low Carbon Interoperable
Energy Solutions, in collaboration with
looking to commission 25 opportunities with
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire SMEs for the
delivery of three-month RD&I projects linked to the SEND project.
been ranked second in the West Midlands in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings
which assess universities against the SDGs.
University has made
with €4 million research to develop Low Carbon Combustion
Midlands Combined Authority
has launched a dedicated website providing the
latest information for West Midlands businesses hit by the
Midlands Combined Authority is
launching a groundbreaking e-scooters trial to help
get the region moving once lockdown restrictions start to be
Midlands Combined Authority has given
information on how to stay safe on public transport
as lockdown restrictions begin to lift.
Midlands Combined Authority is
committing to providing thousands of commuters with refunds on their season tickets through
a new scheme.
Midlands Combined Authority
is looking for a new Travel Choices Specialist
getting ready for Coventry City of Culture 2021 and
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
County Council's Low
Carbon Opportunities Programme and Business Energy
Efficiency Programmes are still open for business.
that many businesses will be adapting their usual routines,
but what can you do lessen the impact on your business from an
energy perspective? Here are 5 top tips.
- Cenex's Keith Budden looks at how you
can keep your emissions down following the pandemic.
has come up with top tips to improve your
Zoom calls; lets face it, we all need them!
members can send their events, research or other contributions to email@example.com to be
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advantages to SWM membership; find out more here.
News and Events
running a free webinar on 18
June looking at Covid-19 impacts on transport emissions
and air quality, based on air quality monitoring stations and
- The Green
Gown Awards 2020 are inviting applications to
recognise those education institutions, both large and small,
that have made a difference. The deadline is now 9 September.
Energy Hub's Spring Newlstter brings
together updates on all the low carbon energy news happening
in our region.
- RSPB has expressed
its concern in a letter to the PM to
place the health and well-being of people and nature at the
heart of the nation’s recovery from Covid-19.
- EAUC is
proud to partner the COP26 Universities Network,
which has identified ten fiscal recovery
policies which promise to bring both high economic impact
and lower GHG emissions.
City Council has
launched its Emergency Transport Plan
outlining plans for a wide range of measures to support
walking, cycling and public transport across the city.
City Council has been awarded £58,000
grant funding to run an e-cargo bike pilot scheme working with
partners including SWM members Aston and Birmingham
a full list of all our upcoming events, visit our events page here. For news items, visit our
news page here.
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