Agreen energy plan for Cumbria is being developed to help local businesses and residents become more energy efficient and encourage more low carbon energy generation. Cumbria LEP is working with the Carbon Trust on proposals for a bespoke local energy plan for the county.

The purpose of the new Cumbria Local Energy Plan is to help local businesses increase productivity, as well as developing low carbon, green or renewable energy projects which will contribute to more sustainable economic growth.
Examples of cleaner, greener initiatives include low carbon heating and integrated energy systems with lower emissions.
It will also seek to develop the county’s energy infrastructure, the large-scale technologies which transport energy from producer to consumer, such as pipelines, terminals, transmission lines and energy grids.

Importantly, it also looks to build energy efficiency into new buildings and homes and support existing homes to become more efficient and cost-effective for residents.
The plan is based on the Government’s green energy challenge within its national Industrial Strategy. It will also align with Cumbria’s emerging Local Industrial Strategy. Cumbria LEP is holding a public consultation on the initial draft plan to help all partners and organisations to inform its final development.This concludes a collaborative development process, which has included interviews and workshops with a wide range of partners.

Cumbria LEP is keen to hear from local firms working on carbon reduction and renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal, recycling, hydrogen, biomass, nuclear, water and waste, and landfill gas.
The comments received during the final consultation will result in the final plan being produced.
Cumbria LEP chief executive Jo Lappin says: “This is about helping Cumbria’s businesses achieve greater productivity by focusing on low carbon initiatives and green energy efficiency. “Cumbria already has some world-class energy credentials and, with this knowledge and expertise, the county can deliver further innovation and growth in the sector. “With this consultation, we want a wide range of partners to collectively contribute towards the further development of the plan to help shape the final document.”

The county is home to more than 50 large companies and hundreds of supply chain businesses.
More energy efficient systems and processes present significant opportunities for greater business productivity. Green energy and carbon reduction solutions can range from mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems to compostable packaging for use in manufacturing.
Jo Lappin adds: “The green energy sector is recognised as a major source for economic growth, especially with the county anticipating increasing levels of tourism and inward investment over the coming decade. “Low carbon and renewable energy projects will be integral to our economic success and improving our carbon footprint. “The energy industry is also fast moving and the plan is being developed at a time when initiatives like the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal are progressing at pace with energy-led innovation playing a key role.”

LEP’s employer panels, which are responsible for identifying the skills needs of each of the key business sectors in the Cumbrian economy. Cumbria LEP’s head of employment and skills Craig Ivison says: “The careers strategy aims to give our future workforce a clearer path into their working lives, based on understanding the opportunities available in the Cumbrian economy “We can draw on some excellent examples of careers and enterprise education to provide a high-quality offer to young people, schools, colleges and other key partners across the county.
“Our employer panels want us to implement a consistent, coherent careers strategy that helps everyone and eases their recruitment difficulties. “We need to promote the wide range of opportunities for employment and learning across Cumbria, and ensure our young people are given the right information at the right time to make informed choices about their future.
“There is a real commitment and enthusiasm from all of our partners across business and education to work together and devise new approaches to make this strategy a success.”

Working in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company and Inspira, Cumbria LEP has already established the Enterprise Advisor Network in Cumbria, working with employers to support the development of careers education in all secondary schools and colleges across the county. The county’s strong work in careers development is reflected by the fact that the Cumbrian Enterprise Adviser programme received two nominations for the Careers and Enterprise Company Annual Awards 2018 for careers support for young people.