Forest Fast Followers-2

Council secures £300k funding to progress net-zero journey in Forest of Dean

Forest of Dean District Council’s (FoDDC) net-zero journey has received a welcome boost through Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) as one of only 21 councils to win a £300k funding allocation from the ‘Net Zero Living’ Fast Followers’ programme. The Forest Fast Followers (F3) programme will begin later in 2023. 

Cabinet member for Climate Emergency Chris McFarling said, ”We are delighted to announce this vital funding, as a welcome boost to our target of achieving net-zero by 2030. We are one of only 21 councils to gain this funding, and as such, will be at the forefront of creating best practice for UK. 

“Tackling the climate emergency is at the heart of what we do as a Council. The F3 programme gives us an opportunity to really understand where the barriers are to tackling climate change and how we can start to remove these. Training will help us to embed a culture of climate literacy, understanding and action through our staff and councillors.

“Bringing Forest of Dean communities on this journey is key to making sure that we achieve the outcomes we set out to. Those living and working in the district are a vital part of this journey.''

FoDDC will lead a collaborative project with West Oxfordshire and Cotswold District Councils. F3 aims to resolve barriers by: 

  • Training Council staff and Councillors to better engage with how we achieve net zero by 2030.
  • Increasing community action and improved understanding of the impact of this on districts. 
  • Identifying and evaluating process improvements to ‘live’ projects in the districts. 

The funding will be used to recruit a NetZero Innovation & Delivery Officer as part of a national cohort pioneering innovative solutions to Net Zero action. Internally they will lead in educating c.400 officers and Councillors across three District Councils, enabling them to prioritise and deliver net-zero through a range of tailored training and knowledge that goes beyond basic carbon literacy. This will enable officers and Councillors to ensure that net-zero is at the heart of the work that they do for communities. 

Alongside training, F3 will identify and address barriers within the Council and the community to net-zero development, renewable energy generation and local smart energy grids. Finding solutions that alleviate these barriers will increase energy security in rural 

areas and reduce the need for grid reinforcement in nationally significant landscapes. 

Community engagement is key to F3’s success. Communities are at the heart of rural life. Engaging, enabling and facilitating residents and businesses to overcome 'system barriers' will be key to meeting the district’s net-zero target. F3 will identify those barriers, and trial tailored approaches to overcome these in our communities. 

The F3 project will begin on July 1 2023 and more information will become available through the Council’s social media and web channels. 

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]

Notes to editors

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation is creating a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations. 

They provide targeted sectors with expertise, facilities and funding to test, demonstrate and evolve their ideas, driving UK productivity and economic growth. Join their network and communities of innovators to realise the potential of your ideas and accelerate business growth. Innovate UK: inspiring business innovation.