Nottingham City Council accepted a grant of £9.5 million from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).
The funding is earmarked for the Skills Training Competition 2023-24, an initiative designed to up-skill and re-skill individuals and businesses in the installation of energy efficiency measures and low-carbon heating.
The decision, which is a key one valued at more than £1 million, will see the council delegate authority to the Director for Environment and Sustainability (ES) to enter into a Section 31 Agreement for the funding.
Further authority will be delegated to the Head of Midlands Net Zero Hub, in consultation with the Director for CRES, to utilise the grant funding to design and run the skills training competition.
The competition aims to award grants of up to £1 million to training provider organisations. This initiative is part of the government’s broader retrofit programmes designed to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The council also plans to establish the roles of a Programme Manager and a Principal Officer to support the delivery of the programme. An existing Business Support Officer Role will also be extended. The funding for these roles has been approved by the Leader of the Council.
The council will also procure an external contractor to conduct an evaluation at the end of the programme, ensuring that data-sharing agreements and General Data Protection Regulation compliance is in place.
The DESNZ is committed to delivering support to enable the Government’s retrofit initiatives to be both an economic stimulus and contributor to the UK’s carbon net-zero ambitions. The total competition value is £9.5 million, £650,000 of which will be allocated to the Hub and the ES Division to design, deliver and monitor the competition.
The decision to accept the grant was made in light of the potential loss of revenue for the Council and the opportunity to support the development and growth of a skilled workforce in a growth sector.
The programme aligns with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Energy Strategy and developing Local Industrial Strategy, supporting the skills agenda that will enable green growth.
The DESNZ has requested the Hub’s and the ES Division’s support on this project, due to their successful track record in project development and support, including a very similar programme, with an ability to meet challenging deadlines.
The programme is expected to be launched and delivered this financial year.