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Pioneering Net Zero Neighbourhood plans progress in Dudley

Published: Friday 27 Oct 2023

The pioneering Net Zero Neighbourhood in Dudley is making progress as key partners come on board.

Dudley Council was awarded £1.65million from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to develop the region’s first Net Zero Neighbourhood in the Brockmoor area.

It will work with energy and regeneration specialist, Equans, to develop a range of initiatives that could create a low carbon community and offer financial benefits through energy savings.

The trial will support the WMCA’s pioneering plans for more Net Zero Neighbourhoods across the region.

To further support the work West Midlands based Keele University has been appointed by Equans to engage with local people and explain how they could be involved in the pilot.

Connecting Places Catapult has also been appointed to specifically look at projects to improve mobility and transport.

As lead contractor Equans will be responsible for developing green spaces and projects, which create benefits for both people and wildlife.

Some of the measures used could include retrofitting loft, cavity and solid wall insulation, wider energy schemes such as and solar PV schemes, electric vehicle street charging points, community food growing initiatives and nature-based solutions such as green roofs.

Cllr Dr Rob Clinton, Dudley Council's cabinet member for climate change, said: We’re really proud to be piloting this initiative in Dudley to lead the way in helping to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods.

"By trialling the project in a small area of the borough and putting carbon saving measures through their paces, it is hoped they can be rolled out successfully across the region.

"By getting the right partners involved from the start who have the experience in delivering similar projects elsewhere, we believe we can make this pilot a success.

"Moving forward, our priority will be to begin the engagement with local people who fall within the pilot area in the next few weeks. This will include homeowners and renters."

Colin Macpherson, Divisional CEO for Equans UK & Ireland, said: "The energy transition, coupled with the fuel crisis and rising cost of living, means this project is more pertinent than ever.

"For the past few years, Equans has been progressing plans for town wide energy systems that would not only revolutionise how we use energy, combatting carbon emissions, but would support in tackling fuel poverty.

"We are pleased to be working with Dudley Council and WMCA to bring these plans to life and make a lasting impression for the community."

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and West Midlands Combined Authority chair, said: "It’s great news that we’re working with Dudley Council and Equans on this pioneering Net Zero Neighbourhood - the first to be funded by the combined authority. Net Zero Neighbourhoods offer a systemic, innovative and holistic approach to creating cleaner, greener and healthier neighbourhoods. This approach helps us to tackle the climate emergency and ensure local people can flourish.

"Whether it’s homes with better insulation and low carbon heating systems, access to quality green spaces, sustainable transport infrastructure, energy efficient street lighting or even communal food growing initiatives, the area wide approach at the heart of NZNs will help us deliver on our #WM2041 net zero commitments.

"I look forward to seeing Dudley’s Net Zero Neighbourhood come to life and hope to see others brought forward right across our region in the months and years ahead."

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