- London Borough of Hounslow hosts innovative virtual event on 15th December to connect public and private sector to ‘build back better’
- Green recovery initiatives sought to inspire tangible local action and support high quality jobs in hard-hit west London
- Event to be delivered by London Waste and Recycling Board’s award-winning circular economy business support programme, Advance London
In December the London Borough of Hounslow joined up with the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB)’s Advance London programme, with the goal of connecting public and private sectors to stimulate strong and robust ‘green recovery’ in the borough.
Together they ran an interactive, virtual ‘Meet the Borough’ event on 15th December on the theme of circular economy, looking at what that means in practice and how the council and businesses across the borough can inspire action which makes a real difference locally.
The circular economy – one which reduces waste at every stage of a product’s life and keeps materials circulating at their highest value for as long as possible – offers solutions which can help London and its boroughs recover from the effects of the pandemic. At this curated matchmaking event, the council engaged with innovators developing products and services which design out waste and promote the sharing and reuse of resources, providing support to local ‘green’ businesses and potentially creating quality jobs for residents in the process.
LWARB’s chief executive, Wayne Hubbard, said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be accompanying the London Borough of Hounslow on this journey, and I’m excited by the boldness of the council’s vision. We hope that by connecting them with some of London’s brightest and best circular businesses they’ll be in a position to launch a number of pilots that tackle both economic and environmental problems in the borough.”
Hounslow has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, mainly due to its proximity to Heathrow Airport and its links to the aviation industry: independent research carried out by Oxford Economics forecasts the borough will be the second hardest hit in London, with a possible 40% decline in output and thousands of jobs likely to be lost.
This ‘Meet the Borough’ event is one of many ways in which the council is responding to the impacts of the pandemic, using this moment as an opportunity to stimulate a strong and robust green recovery that helps them act decisively on the climate crisis. In June 2020 they set up a dedicated Green Recovery Board, and they have already identified a number of flagship projects including the creation of low-carbon neighbourhoods where people can access key elements of a city within a 15-minute radius, and Green Enterprise Zones.
Victoria Lawson, Executive Director of Environment, Culture and Customer Services said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with London Waste and Recycling Board’s Advance London team to enhance our borough’s green and economic recovery in a bold and ambitious way.
“The Meet the Borough event was a fantastic way for us to spark connections with local innovative SMEs that will help us meet our goals of building a greener borough and delivering our Climate Emergency Action Plan. The pandemic has presented great economic and environmental challenges, but we are meeting them by drawing on our collective strength and working with new organisations and businesses.
“We are excited to explore ways to implement a circular economy and find ways to reduce waste and keep materials in use longer across the borough – all of which helps us to reduce our collective carbon footprint.”
Additional support is also coming via the Mayor of London’s Green New Deal, as LWARB has secured £900,000 of funding to deliver support to London-based SMEs that are helping to make London a low-carbon circular city. The funding will aim to safeguard around 300 jobs and create up to 50 new ones by providing grants and support to 50 businesses – with west London being a particular focus.
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For more info: Ali Moore on 07732 681821
 Economic impact of COVID19 on Hounslow – https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/info/19999/your_council_and_elections/2189/the_economic_impact