Green Economic Development Strategy
The Green Economic Development Strategy (download on the right hand side of this page) sets out a framework and overall direction to influence the development of the district’s economy over the next ten years, including its role in enabling the commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030 (Carbon Neutrality Action Plan). It supports a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and positions the Winchester district as a carbon neutral, sustainable place in which to live, work, study and visit.
The accompanying action plan focuses on activity that will take place up to March 2024. It will be delivered collaboratively with Winchester City Council officers working alongside stakeholders and businesses from across the district.
To get involved in the delivery of the Green Economic Development Action Plan, please contact our Business Growth Officer, Humayun Qureshi, at email@example.com.
Both the strategy and accompanying action plan can be downloaded to the right hand side of this webpage. A dashboard to show progress against the action plan will be published with these documents.
Deliver a Sustainable Cultural Strategy
Winchester City Council will play a key role in supporting its creative and cultural industries by delivering creative and cultural space for its residents and businesses. In partnership with the School of Art, explore opportunities for space for creative start-up spaces, skills hubs, and flexible public facing creative exhibitions and events.
The development of the Sustainable Cultural Strategy by our Economy and Tourism team can be viewed by accessing Winchester City Council’s Business and Housing Committee papers.
Deliver a Sustainable Tourism Strategy
A Sustainable Tourism Strategy will deliver an overarching and coordinated vision to make Winchester District a national leader in this sector. The strategy will identify actions and develop a roadmap for delivering these, including how to maximise the use of local supply chains – including food supplies – improve connectivity and coordination across the district, and support tourist sector businesses to become more sustainable and maximise their growth potential.
The development of the the Sustainable Tourism Strategy by our Economy and Tourism team can be viewed by accessing Winchester City Council’s Business and Housing Committee papers.
Co-ordinate the establishment and operation of a creativity-themed business cluster network
Winchester City Council is setting up a Winchester District Co-Mentor Scheme, linking creative and non-creative businesses as part of one of the actions arising from its Green Economic Development Strategy.
The Winchester District Co-Mentor Scheme aims to connect enthusiastic individuals and businesses to be matched as co-mentors. These partner matches will include one partner from a typically creative business and the other partner from a non-creative business. The businesses will be matched with a series of questions to understand the professional skills they have and those they hope to gain.
If you would like to find out further information on the pilot launch of the scheme, please email our Sector Project Officer, Emily Reason on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Winchester District Cultural Network Group has also been relaunched.
Collaborate with Hampshire County Council on the Bus Improvement Plan
This will ensure a Winchester City Council voice in the Hampshire County Council Bus Improvement Plan, together with a commitment to financial support where necessary, to better connect rural and city across the Winchester district.
The Hampshire Bus Improvement Plan has been published and Winchester City Council transport planners are ensuring it is linked with the Winchester Movement Strategy.
Collaborate with National Highways and Hampshire County Council on the Winchester Movement Strategy
In alignment with the Winchester Movement Strategy, working with Highways England is an important process to ensure ongoing investment in initiatives such as the Smart Motorway Programme, motorway junction improvements and new road, walking and cycle connections, to provide the best outcome for the district, especially the South of the district and Whiteley.
A Winchester district-wide parking and access improvement programme has been agreed by Cabinet.
Several feasibility studies are underway for traffic flow within Winchester City Centre.
Cycle parking plans are also being developed for the district.
Deliver a significant retrofit campaign
Winchester City Council will deliver retrofit across its social housing estate and actively promote the Warmer Homes Local Authority Delivery (LAD) programme for non-Council housing residents.
There is more information on retrofit in the Winchester City Council Carbon Neutrality Roadmap on page 95.
Deliver urban heat mitigation measures
Nature-based solutions such as tree planting and soft landscaping are important and sustainable interventions for mitigating urban heat. This complements the priority actions in the Carbon Neutrality Action Plan regarding rewilding, tree planting, and the creation of grassland or wetland habitats.
The Winchester City Council Carbon Neutrality Roadmap and the The Biodiversity Action plan include information about urban heat mitigation measures.
Deliver and encourage repurposing retail space
The post-COVID retail environment provides an opportunity to re-shape large retail space into more accessible and flexible customer-facing and workshop space for independent businesses.
Implementation plan to follow.
Co-ordinate development of a low carbon offsite and Sustainable Construction Skills Academy
New skills will be needed to build low carbon homes and retrofit homes, as well as retraining of traditional construction workers as the industry moves towards wider adoption of modern methods of construction. Developing skills and supply chain capacity in Winchester district is an opportunity to create jobs and economic growth.
To do this, Winchester City Council should lead on developing an innovation centre around low carbon offsite construction skills developed in partnership with local education providers and incorporating the district’s architecture and design strengths. Regeneration sites, Whiteley developments, and rural retrofit are opportunities to encourage innovative and lower carbon construction methods as statements of intent and as levers to attract investment in skills and jobs.
Implementation plan to follow.
Encourage low or zero carbon regeneration site testbed and development
To build supply chain capacity and show that the district is embracing innovation, a test-bed can be developed. This would be based at two to three medium sized sites which are part of the Council’s own house building programme, where Modern Methods of Construction approaches would be procured following market engagement with potential suppliers. Sites should be a mix of urban and rural and would see a selection of different property types designed to be sensitive and respectful of the characteristics in different parts of the district.
The test-bed will demonstrate approaches for maximising the ‘pre-manufactured value’ (PMV) of new homes which is a measure of the amount of a home built offsite. This can be increased over time as technology and supply chain capacity evolves. The test-bed could also have a focus on integrating rooftop solar, working towards net zero standards and designing modular homes which can be adapted to different needs over time. The Council can use control levers to make sites investment ready for innovative, zero carbon exemplar development.
Implementation plan to follow.
Collaborate to extend the EM3 LEP digital spine
Winchester City Council would work with Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership to facilitate the extension of the digital spine from Basingstoke through the whole Winchester District to enhance broadband (fibre and 5G) connectivity.
Deliver and co-ordinate innovation and knowledge-sharing in the rural and land-based economy
The Council will work with the South Downs National Park Authority, further education and higher education establishments, like Sparsholt College, to deliver innovation support and knowledge-sharing to agricultural businesses across the district. This could include developing innovations using digital technology in partnership with local digital businesses, support to decarbonise agricultural vehicles, and using data.
Implementation plan to follow.
Co-ordinate a digital cluster programme
Winchester is home to Arqiva and IBM, alongside many smaller tech businesses. These organisations could be the core of a ‘Green Digital Forum’ to explore opportunities for building the green technology offer in the district. EM3 LEP may be a good partner, as may Higher Education establishmetns and GreenTech South, who are sponsored by the University of Portsmouth.
Implementation plan to follow.
Co-ordinate a single business carbon reduction and responsible management programme
South Downs National Park Authority run their own programme helping SMEs measure their carbon emissions and designing interventions to reduce these. Sparsholt College have also identified a lack of business understanding in this area and are considering developing a course to help them. Winchester City Council also run their own activity, as do the Sustainable Business Network and the EMphasis3 CO2 Reductions Project run by the University of Winchester.
Creating a single district-wide brand and shop-window for this activity which sign-posts businesses to the relevant partner will reduce duplication and confusion. This programme can also focus on wider sustainability management skills. The University of Winchester Business School is accredited to the international PRME standard for teaching responsible management practices. The Business School could become a regional focus for training a new generation of managers to meet the new standards expected of business.
Implentation plan to follow.
Deliver flexible, affordable grow on/small SME space
Establish a pilot for a rural business hub to support start-ups and provide move on space, together with access to business support.
Deliver a plan for the next phase of EV charging infrastructure strategy
Winchester City Council to review the district wide electric vehicle strategy and commitments made in the Carbon Neutrality Action Plan and consider focusing on urban and rural as well as grid capacity and energy storage. As part of this there is a need to engage with key bus operators and major fleet operators to assess their needs.
Deliver new park and ride capacity to the north of the city
New park and ride capacity to the north of the city centre will provide a new option for commuters, visitors, and shoppers approaching from that direction. This is currently being considered at Sir John Moore Barracks in addition to the small Park & Ride planned for Kings Barton. This will reduce the number of vehicles travelling into, through, and around the city and builds on the success and positive view of the sites to the south and east of the city. This action is consistent with the priority actions outlined in Winchester City Council Carbon Neutrality Action Plan, Air Quality Action Plan, and Winchester Movement Strategy.
Co-ordinate a high-profile EV fleet commitment
Winchester City Council to co-ordinate anchor institutions and public bodies across the district to switch to zero carbon fleets. This will help the council to meet its commitment to reduce emissions from all council owned, leased, or contracted vehicles, as identified in the Air Quality Action Plan.
Encourage increased housing supply
Permit development aligned to the evidence base for the local plan with a focus on aims around zero carbon and offsite construction and the need to address fuel and transport poverty, the just transition (affordability of decarbonised homes), and 20-minute communities.
Co-ordinate green energy initiatives
Winchester City Council to lead engagement activities with solar industry and potential site owners via anchor institutions and a solar-friendly communications strategy aligned with planning. This could centre around co-ordinated initiatives to develop solar energy using flat roofs of commercial enterprises and appropriate rural sites. This will help Winchester City Council meet its Carbon Neutrality Action Plan commitments to source 100% of all electricity purchased by the Council from renewable sources and to build or invest in large scale renewable generation projects.
Co-ordinate renewable energy and energy efficiency innovation and skills programme
Build on the example of the Marwell bio-digester to stimulate similar initiatives and create a core expertise in renewables. The Marwell project was Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership funded, which could mean further opportunities for a partnership between Marwell and the Local Enterprise Partnership. Sparsholt College are also developing their own renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and could be the skills and training partner.