The ‘Climate Emergency’ recently declared by the UK govt was on delegates’ minds as they were invited to put questions to a panel of Board members at Enterprise M3’s AGM.
EM3 has already identified Clean Growth as a major economic driver in its recent Strategic Economic Plan and earlier this year launched an Energy Strategy for the South East in collaboration with two other LEPs.
Many delegates strongly support this priority and questioned whether strategies to date would be sufficient to support the government’s plan of reaching net zero emissions before 2050.
EM3 Chair, Dave Axam, said that Clean Growth lay at the core of the LEP’s evaluation of which projects to support: “There are only two real questions when we look at a business case for a project – how does this support clean growth and how does it leverage digital knowledge.”
EM3’s Chief Executive Kathy Slack agreed: “It is at the heart of what we do. People thought we were mad many years ago when we insisted on cycle lanes but we will continue to put even greater focus on the challenge of sustainability across our whole output.”
Stacey King, Enterprise M3 Board Member overseeing the Local Industrial Strategy, told the audience that their message had been heard ‘loud and clear’ and while Clean Growth initiatives were already a fundamental part of the emerging Local Industrial Strategy, the LEP would be focusing on this area even more. She invited partners to feed in a greater input of ideas and collaboration on strategies.
“Clean Growth and Digital Connectivity fundamentally underpin everything we do,” said Stacey. “The purpose of the LIS is to understand what we really want for our region, for our people and for ourselves and the LIS is our plan and strategy to deliver.”