Skip to main content

Net Zero Neighbourhoods

How we're supporting a new approach to sustainable living

The Net Zero Neighbourhood (NZN) Demonstrator Programme has been established by WMCA and Energy Capital as part of its strategy to cut region carbon emissions to net zero by 2041.

The #WM2041 strategy and its associated Five Year Plan shows that we need to retrofit 294,000 homes in the region by 2026 to meet our targets. 

To date, deep retrofit initiatives have not generated change at a scale or pace necessary to achieve these goals, with most initiatives aimed at individual households taking up deep retrofit and cleaner heating technologies.   

The NZN Demonstrators allow us to trial a different approach in the West Midlands, working with Local Authority partners in the West Midlands to identify 3-7 neighbourhoods in which we could develop a Net Zero Neighbourhood in collaboration with the community. 

WMCA will co-invest £2.1million into retrofit, low-carbon heating measures and other low-carbon infrastructure on a street-by-street basis while also exploring other opportunities to make the neighbourhood a more sustainable place to live. 

What are we aiming to demonstrate?

The programme aims to demonstrate that a street-by-street approach to retrofit and neighbourhood regeneration improves uptake and engagement with Net Zero, supporting communities' transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. Within that, we are aiming to:

  • Develop Approaches to engaging communities to co-design a Net Zero Neighbourhood and opt-in to installing retrofit measures.
  • Demonstrate The economies of scale that can be achieved with suppliers by taking a street-by-street approach.
  • Design A replicable financial model to deliver a pipeline of neighbourhoods with increasingly less reliance on grant funding.

For more information about the programme, please download the Net Zero Neighbourhood programme overview.

Where are we now?

Brockmoor, in Brierley Hill, within Dudley borough, has been awarded £1.65m in funding to develop Phase 1 of their NZN, which will see retrofit measured installed in at least 50 homes, as well as wider improvements to the neighbourhood such as new green spaces and transport links.

  • Local Net Zero Accelerator Programme 

DESNZ has now awarded £6.2m of funding to the WMCA to launch of a Local Net Zero Accelerator programme. 

The aim of this programme is to address the funding gap for Net Zero projects, by collecting evidence from the cohort of Net Zero Neighbourhoods, engaging investors, and developing the enabling infrastructure to connect investors to projects. This will be essential to delivering on the region's #WM2041 pledge and contribute to the UK’s climate targets.

Net Zero Neighbourhood activity will therefore commence in an additional six neighbourhoods across the West Midlands, in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Coventry. This work involves community engagement activities, retrofit assessments and energy saving measures for residents across the Midlands.

We would like to extend a warm invitation to all our partners and stakeholders to join us in this opportunity to accelerate the region’s transition to Net Zero. Our approach is open to all regional stakeholders getting involved to help shape and then ultimately deliver projects that will unlock private investment.

To get involved as a project delivery organisation or investor please join us at our meet the buyer events on April 9th and April 16th 2024. Registration for which can be found at the prior information notice (PIN) here: Local Net Zero Accelerator - Find a Tender (

If you’re interested in joining our delivery team, please come along to our meet the manager event on Thursday 21st March 2024.