Aluminium industry model for Black Country
The University of Warwick have helped draw up a future business model to restart the aluminium industry in the Black Country.
The university helped the Black Country local enterprise partnership (LEP) to make the sustainable plan which aims to make the Black Country the world’s first zero carbon industrial cluster.
The aim of the project is to enable clean GVA growth of £16billion by 2030, creating or safeguarding at least 20,000 skilled jobs.
Thanks to funding from Innovate UK researchers from WMG specifically looked at the aluminium industry in the area.
The researchers report that if the Black Country Strategic Economic Plan forecasts GVA growth of £16billion by 2030.
The growth will be driven by reshoring of manufacturing from overseas and organic growth, particularly in high value manufacturing, building, transport and environmental technology sectors where the Black Country has long-standing strengths.
However, if this growth simply follows the structural templates and energy practices of the past, annual CO2 emissions from Black Country industry will almost double to 2.3M tCO2.
To deliver green growth and meet UK industrial strategy objectives researchers from WMG propose that the Black Country needs to take the opportunities created by Brexit and recovery from Covid-19 to reconfigure and repower its industrial base and create a fundamentally new economic model for the area.
Professor Jan Godsell, from WMG, University of Warwick explains: “This has been an exciting project for WMG to get involved in. By using circular supply chain principles, we’ve been able to demonstrate how re-industrialising around low carbon energy hubs in the West Midlands can help meet our net-zero carbon goal by 2050 but also create value-adding jobs for the region.”
Since the project has completed The Black Country Consortium has been awarded funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to support clean industrial growth through the Repowering the Black Country Project.
This second round of funding, focused on helping the UK achieve net zero emissions as part of Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, will support businesses and local authorities in developing plans for zero carbon hubs and reducing energy costs across the Black Country.
Funded by UK Research and Innovation, on behalf of the UK government, Repowering the Black Country is one of only seven projects funded nationally focused on helping the UK achieve net zero emissions by 2050 as part of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge.
Tom Westley, chairman of the Black Country LEP Board said: “This funding is another step toward the Black Country putting in place plans to decarbonise our industrial supply chains and lead the way nationally for industrial clean energy.
“The Repowering the Black Country project is a real partnership approach to planning for the future of our world-class industrial sector.
“This boost will enable the team to work across the Black Country with local authorities and industry to develop zero carbon industrial estates that optimise and generate clean energy in the most efficient way. Zero carbon means lower energy bills, lower carbon emissions and commercial opportunities locally – all of which will be good news for the Black Country economy.”
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