Derry and Strabane Council secures funding for climate innovation
24 May 2023
Derry City and Strabane District Council has today been named among the most innovative local councils when it comes to transitioning to a Net Zero economy at International Clean Tech conference, Innovation Zero.
21 local councils have been acknowledged for their progressive work, receiving the Fast Followers Award, and sharing a prize fund of £6m funding to help accelerate innovation on the journey towards achieving Net Zero. Fast Followers is part of Innovate UK’s Net Zero Living Project, designed to help places and businesses across the UK committed to the move towards Net Zero.
Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said: “I am delighted to see Derry City and Strabane District Council’s commitment to Zero Waste acknowledged with this award today. We were the first local authority in the country to pledge to become a Net Zero region through the development of our own dedicated Zero Waste Circular Economy Strategy. Since then, we have continued to develop a range of programmes in partnership with both the local community and also international partners to deliver on that promise.
“It has never been more important to take direct action to combat the climate crisis and I look forward to seeing the impact of this support in progressing our net zero objectives.”
Climate Programme Manager with Council, Cathy Burns, said: “This award offers an exciting opportunity to build on our commitment to embedding circular economy policy into corporate city strategies. It will help us identify solutions to bridge the gap between innovative urban circular economy policy and citizen engagement.
“With the support available through the Fast Followers Programme, Council will focus on progressing Ambition to Action - developing new and innovative systems for Derry and Strabane applying best practice learning and iterative place based programme delivery. This will help create new forms of governance, policy, citizen engagement, cooperation and financing to deliver real term climate action.”
Mike Biddle, Executive Director, Net Zero, Innovate UK told delegates at the conference that Innovate UK’s Net Zero Living Programme aims to transform our towns, cities, and communities. “Our vision is that the UK will prosper from being the fastest transitioning economy to Net Zero. Innovation is key to achieving this goal and Fast Followers represents grass roots investment in Net Zero innovation,” he declared.
“This cohort of Fast Followers winners all demonstrate innovative ideas that are designed at grass roots level specifically to overcome their particular barriers and sometimes unique challenges. Seeing the range of projects is inspiring and, as well as running their individual initiatives, the Local Authorities will share best-practice allowing others to capitalise on proven solutions.”