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News - 22 October 2020

LEPs focus on green innovation to drive zero carbon growth

Green business experts joined LEPs from across the country to discuss their ideas on delivering a green recovery with the Minister for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi MP, the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, the Minister for Science, Research & Innovation, Amanda Solloway and the Minister for Small Business, Paul Scully MP in a series of roundtables that got underway this week.

The five roundtables are being led by Local Enterprise Partnership chairs and include businesses from the following economic areas: East and West Midlands, Catalyst South, Northern Powerhouse 11, Oxford-Cambridge Arc & New Anglia, and South West.

Business and Industry Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “These roundtables put a clear focus on green economic recovery and our ambition to achieve our net-zero goals by 2050.”

“These are an invaluable way for government, Local Enterprise Partnerships and business leaders to join together, share local expertise in green innovation across sectors and ensure the UK is on course to build back greener from the pandemic.”

Zero Carbon Growth

This is the third round of LEP business roundtables and follows on from the success of business discussions with Ministers in May and July.

For this round, business representatives were drawn from across the SME community within place-based sector strengths as follows:

  • Midlands: automotive, infrastructure, and construction.
  • Northern Powerhouse 11: science and research, including life sciences and health, and technology.
  • Oxford/Cambridge Arc and New Anglia: advanced manufacturing, professional & business services, life sciences.
  • Catalyst South: energy, including innovators and disruptors in the net-zero space.
  • South West: enterprise, start-ups and microbusinesses in the net-zero space.

The roundtables will see businesses and SMEs discuss their ideas on how best to accelerate the green recovery but will specifically look at: how to enable businesses to take advantage of new opportunities in a green recovery after the Brexit transition period; what priorities can help businesses recover and grow in alignment with the net-zero target; how government can support net-zero innovation; any barriers to net-zero growth and how government can help business overcome them; and how best to increase business access to support and advice to help them grow and incentivise them to align with net-zero targets.

Chair of the LEP Network, Mark Bretton, said: “Green innovation is a central thread of our Rebuild and Recovery Deal that we have outlined in our CSR proposals which also included flexibility for a one year ‘fast track’ CSR.”

“These roundtables underline that approach and LEP’s commitment to the government’s ambitions to Build Back Greener and help accelerate the country towards its net zero carbon goals.”

“With an eye to the long term, LEPs are helping to drive that green innovation forward, creating the environment which will nurture new skills and generate the jobs upon which the green revolution will depend.”

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