Delivering a place-based just transition in industrial clusters

IDRIC Project IA 3.1

University of Sussex
University of Leeds

Background

The creation of net zero industrial clusters is a social and spatial project as much as a project about technology deployment and business models. It requires social support for successful implementation to generate lasting economic, social, and environmental benefits for industrial areas and local communities. UK policy and cluster discourses have highlighted potential economic benefits of industrial decarbonisation and the principles of just transitions. However, more actionable knowledge is required for translating the green growth vision into fairer local development and social support for technology deployment. Relevantly, more policy and industry attention needs to be paid to obtain buy-in from local communities and workers through genuine engagement, which is vital to enable a low-carbon industrial transition that can be considered just, credible, and legitimate.

Huei-Ling Lai

Principal Investigator
University of Exeter

Prof Patrick Devine-Wright

Patrick Devine-Wright

Jo Hamilton

Co-Investigators
University of Exeter

Project Team

University of Sussex:

Abigail Martin

University of Manchester:

Sarah Mander
Diarmaid Clery

University of Leeds:

Peter Taylor
Imogen Rattle

Utah State University:

Stacia Ryder

Aim

To address these gaps, this project will produce insights and guidelines regarding the potential gaps, trade-offs, and action plans for policymakers and cluster stakeholders in delivering a just, place-based industrial decarbonisation. The proposed impacts of the project include:

Short-term Impacts

  • Increasing awareness of the limitation of place/cluster-branding strategies & different ideas about industrial places.
  • Building more reciprocal relationships between communities and stakeholders at multiple levels via constructive dialogues.
  • Providing actionable knowledge to guide stakeholder activities in each cluster case study.

Medium/long-term Impacts

  • Facilitating decarbonisation project deployment that is more place-based, socially acceptable, and in line with the principles of just transitions.
  • Strengthening the capacity of policymakers and cluster stakeholders across levels in translating the green growth vision into the wellbeing of residents and workers in industrial heartlands.

More Detail

This project proposes a combined, multi-level strategy to develop this actionable knowledge. It will  draw lessons from four IDRIC Wave 1 social science research projects and work with 7 non-academic partners from 5 industrial clusters.

4 partner projects

7 non-academic partners

  • Grangemouth Future Industry Board
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Milford Haven Port Authority
  • Net Zero Industry Wales
  • Zero Carbon Humber
  • IDRIC Academic Lead for the Humber Cluster
  • IDRIC Academic Lead for the Southampton Cluster

Meet the Team

Abigail Martin

Abigail Martin

University of Sussex

Sarah Mander

Dr Sarah Mander

Sarah Mander

University of Manchester

Diarmaid Clery

Diarmaid Clery

University of Manchester

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor

University of Leeds

Imogen Rattle

Imogen Rattle

University of Leeds

Stacia Ryder

Stacia Ryder

Utah State University

Abigail Martin

Abigail Martin

University of Sussex

Sarah Mander

Dr Sarah Mander

Sarah Mander

University of Manchester

Diarmaid Clery

Diarmaid Clery

University of Manchester

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor

University of Leeds

Imogen Rattle

Imogen Rattle

University of Leeds

Stacia Ryder

Stacia Ryder

Utah State University

Progress

We will employ a combined strategy to create an inclusive, place-sensitive mutual learning space between research partners and multiple stakeholders at different scales and localities. The project involves 3 activities:

Activity 1: Making synergy with 4 partner projects (Oct. 2023)
Activity 2: Collaboration with local stakeholders in three sites (Nov. 2023)
Activity 3: Communication with national policymakers and broader cluster stakeholders (Dec. 2023)

We start with holding a one-day synergy workshop where all team members from 4 partner projects will gatherer together to exchange and merge research insights. The aim is to produce an integrated framework that will guide – and be refined through – Activity (2) and (3) targeting a wide range of stakeholders.

At the local and practical level, we will hold workshops guided by the integrated framework.  The aim is to create action plans/recommendations to implement place-based just transitions in three industrial heartlands respectively located in the Scottish Cluster (Grangemouth), the North West Cluster (Ellesmere Port) and the South Wales Industrial Cluster (Milford Haven).

At the national and policy level, we will conduct an on-online workshop with broader cluster stakeholders and policymakers from the devolved governments (Scotland and Wales) and the UK government. The aim is to inform policies that are consistent with a place-based, socially fair industrial decarbonisation. With these activities and accessible visual outputs, the project aims to facilitate the delivery of a place-based just transition in the UK and beyond.

Planned Outputs

This project will produce actionable knowledge for supporting the delivery of place-based industrial transitions. The key outputs include:

  • A place-based just transition framework developed from the insights of 4 partner projects
  • 3 action recommendation reports for Milford Haven, Ellesmere Port, and Grangemouth
  • 1 policy brief

Associated Outputs