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ecoConnect Forum 16th July 2013

Join the growing number of delegates at the ecoConnect Forum in July at the offices of Walker Morris LLP.

Cities of the future will need to balance economic development with environmental impact, a significant infrastructure challenge. They must be economically successful and competitive while offering a sustainable quality of life based on a low-carbon, resource-efficient local economy, the key to making them more resilient in the face of social, economic and environmental challenges.

There are opportunities. Eight cities, including Leeds, have signed deals devolving powers from central government, partly to accelerate low-carbon growth. In Leeds, investing in emissions reduction will cut its future energy bill by £1.7 billion, or 92 per cent (Green Cities, Green Alliance 2012). Partnering opportunities, eg through the Green Deal, could boost the housing sector in a sustainable way with consequent benefits for supply chain and employment. ESCOs potentially offer Councils the means of creating jobs and a sustainable supply chain with power generation through a range of renewable technologies & a heat network that sources the main centre sourced by local biomass.

When: 16th July 2013

Where: Walker Morris LLP, Leeds

Forum Fee

Only £25 plus VAT for non-members

ecoConnect Members attend at 50% discount or free

Book Here

However, there are also challenges: cities need to modernise ageing infrastructure and improve services in a period financial constraint; traditional management and operation methods where utilities, transport and housing are viewed as separate silos rather than an integrated system do not fit a resource-efficient model. Local government will need to consider new partnering models and policies with economic and environmental considerations and technical solutions at their core.

These issues will be debated by our expert panel:

  • Tom Riordon, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council
  • Professor Andrew Gouldson, Director of Environment and Climate Change, Leeds University
  • Vincent McCabe, Managing Director, Yorkshire Energy Services Projects
  • Paul Connell, Managing Director, Halcyon Innovation

Moderated by Stephen Cirell of Walker Morris LLP

Topics to be discussed include:

  • How will the Green Deal impact on the city region’s domestic energy efficiency plans?
  • What is the role of renewable energy in the regional economy and how can RE projects be resourced and financed?
  • How can energy-efficient homes be delivered and monitored in practice?
  • How can policy ensure that improving economic development and reducing environmental impact are compatible?
  • What is the role of the private sector?
  • Which cities are getting it right and what are the lessons to be learnt?


Background Issues:

  • • The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has launched two new initiatives to help British companies develop market-leading expertise in integrated city systems. The Future Cities Demonstrator project will demonstrate at scale, and in use, the additional value that can be created by integrating city systems: £24m awarded to Glasgow, £3m to councils in London, Bristol and Peterborough, 20 other cities will receive around £50,000 each. The programme will enable businesses to test, in practice, new solutions for connecting and integrating city systems, and will allow UK cities to explore new approaches to delivering a good local economy and excellent quality of life, whilst reducing the environmental footprint and increasing resilience to environmental change. These cities will work closely with the Future Cities Catapult based in London which will join business, city governments and academia in a unique collaboration to enable business to develop products and services. The TSB estimates that the annual market for integrated city systems will reach £200bn by 2030, with the expected total investment in city infrastructure over the next ten to 15 years expected to hit £6.5trn. (Future Cities Catapult Vision and Scope TSB 2012)


  • Leeds has already established itself as a city with a green agenda and has the aim of being the UK’s leading low carbon city region. The city will be working with DECC via the city deals process to ‘go early’ on the Green Deal and to explore the feasibility of district heating. ‘The Leeds deal is one of the strongest in terms of consistently including low carbon ambitions in its framing. The deal states the city’s vision to be “a world-leading dynamic and sustainable low carbon economy that balances economic growth with a high quality of life for everyone.”26 Achieving a substantial reduction in city region carbon emissions is one of three key targets, alongside job creation and accelerating  growth. The city deal is also described as an “unprecedented opportunity” to “unlock the full potential for low carbon growth and job creation in the city.” It highlights low carbon industry as one of the city’s strengths and notes its aim to become the exemplar low carbon city region in non- domestic retrofit, low carbon business and sustainable, low carbon design.’ (Green Cities, Green Alliance 2012).


  • • The 11 councils that make up the Leeds City Region have launched the country's largest Green Deal scheme, predicting that more than 12,000 homes in Yorkshire should undertake energy efficiency improvements in the next few years. The £100m initiative is designed to help domestic and non-domestic properties reduce their energy bills and cut carbon emissions, while maximising economies of scale for the programme through collective purchasing. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2261877/leeds-launches-uks-largest-green-deal-scheme


  • • As a result of the continuing decrease in housing starts since the recession, a number of government initiatives have attempted to kick-start development, boost demand and remove planning constraints. These are detailed at Housing Briefing Centre for Cities. It is noted in here that The Communities and Local Government Select Committee launched an inquiry in September 2011 into the use of new funding sources to stimulate house building which recommended piloting a specific housing investment fund, possibly administered through the Green Investment Bank.


Gain insight, find collaboration opportunities and engage with the speakers and delegates involved in the debate.


The ecoConnect Forums take place throughout the UK, bringing together senior executives and experts from policy, investment, technology and academia as well as other key industry contributors to meet gain green industry insight and network. Our “question - time” discussion forum provides ample time for audience participation.



  • Entrepreneurs & Innovators: To find investors, support, companies seeking solutions.
  • Corporations & CSR Executives: To meet technology providers, find partners.
  • Institutional, Private Equity, VC and Angel Investors: Evaluating new investment trends.
  • Public Officials/Political Leaders: Engaging with key policy-affecting issues.
  • Local Authorities:  Connecting to green industry business.
  • Law, accountancy, project management firms: Finding future cleantech clients.
  • NGOs & Environmental Trade Associations: Adding their voice to the dialogue.
  • Specialist Media: To hear the issues and stories shaping this exciting industry.


Organised by ecoConnect, Britain's Green Industry Business Network, enabling effective partnerships, collaborations and connections throughout the UK. ecoConnect provides essential links to industry innovation, business support, investment and procurement. It is a not-for-profit development agency helping to create a viable UK Green Economy in which technology plays a crucial lead role. http://ecoconnect.org.uk




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