A group of industry, university and local government leaders have teamed up to pitch the North West as the UK’s first Low Carbon Industrial Cluster, backed by £500 million of private investment.
The group, led by Richard Carter, chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) and UK managing director of chemicals manufacturer BASF, has submitted a bid in response to the government’s Grand Challenge Mission to establish a Low Carbon Industrial Cluster in the UK by 2030.
The mission aims to establish a world-leading low carbon manufacturing hub that can attract innovators, investors and problem solvers to create an exemplar that other areas in the UK and internationally can learn from and replicate.
The North West Cluster would comprise the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and Warrington, and Greater Manchester, and is directly supported by several major companies with a presence in the area. These include Siemens, Unilever, Jaguar-Land Rover, Electricity North West, infrastructure firms Peel Group and Arup, gas distributor Cadent, glass manufacturer Encirc, ship builder Cammell Laird and more.
“This collaboration represents one of the most vibrant clusters in the UK with a wide range of energy intensive industry partners. We are already home to a number of existing complementary initiatives that, when brought together, represent a game-changing opportunity,” Richard Carter said.
“We believe, with appropriate government support, that this will result in the North West meeting the challenge of becoming the UK’s first low carbon industrial cluster by 2030.”
‘A blueprint for the world’
Key initiatives would include carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen energy, large-scale industrial smart grids, small modular nuclear and the Mersey Tidal project. By 2030, the approach could create at least 33,000 new jobs and reduce carbon emissions by tens of millions of tonnes per year, the group said.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham commented: “Cities, and city regions, will make the difference on climate change and, in working to decarbonise in the North West, we can create a blueprint for every other city in the world. It wouldn’t be the first time. We can change ourselves, and we can inspire change in others.”
Posted under General Interest on 20 March 2019