New multi-million-pound research centre to lead net-zero drive in South Yorkshire

A new multi-million-pound translational research centre to help decarbonise organisations is to be built in Yorkshire.

The South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre, announced by South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis yesterday, will bring together researchers, businesses and organisations across the region to design solutions to sustainability challenges and work towards net zero emissions by 2050.

The centre is led by the University of Sheffield through a partnership that includes the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, the four South Yorkshire local authorities, Sheffield Hallam University, and private and voluntary sector organisations.

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Projects that will be coordinated by the centre include the optimisation and decarbonisation of transport routes, retrofitting housing stock, decarbonising the agri-food sector and heavy industry, and restoring the region’s natural environments and assets.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire. Picture:  Chris EtchellsDan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire. Picture:  Chris Etchells
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire. Picture: Chris Etchells

Mr Jarvis, said: “South Yorkshire is the heartland of innovation and we are harnessing these credentials to tackle the biggest challenge facing our generation: the climate emergency and the need to drastically reduce carbon emissions.

“I’ve made it my mission to create a stronger, greener, fairer South Yorkshire economy and our investment in the sustainability centre will catalyse our region’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2040, unlock good green jobs and grow and attract new businesses and investment.”

The South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre has received £5m of funding from Research England.

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Prof Rachael Rothman, centre director, said: “It is important to look at sustainability challenges holistically; ensuring that in our urgent drive to reduce emissions we are also considering the economic and social impact, and opportunities, of the solutions we propose.

“We are looking forward to working with organisations of all sizes to assess the opportunities to work together to decarbonise for the future.

“While we have identified initial projects for the centre, we also have some funding for future projects and we are keen to hear from organisations that would like to work with us to co-design solutions.”