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A BLUEPRINT for a more sustainable economy

Published: 16 December 2021 at 11:00

Lord Ashcroft Building, Chelmsford at Night

Project will see ARU help 2,000 disadvantaged people develop new skills

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is working with partners in the UK and France on a new project to provide a skills boost for 2,000 disadvantaged people and support 100 new social enterprises.

The €5.6million BLUEPRINT initiative, being led by Essex County Council, will help local authorities on both sides of the English Channel to develop a ‘circular economy’, the principle of designing out waste and pollution by reusing, repairing and recycling existing resources. The aim is to reduce emissions, boost economic growth and reduce dependence on raw materials.

As part of the project, ARU is developing training modules that will support around 2,000 people from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn new skills to contribute to the circular economy. ARU will also be responsible for building a networking hub for up to 100 social enterprises that will harness the skills of the newly trained workforce.

ARU will bring its expert knowledge of the social and circular economy to the BLUEPRINT project, and will work with local government, social enterprises and residents throughout the project.

Dr Lewis Walsh, Research Fellow at ARU’s Innovation, Management and Practice (IMPACT) Research Centre, said:

“This is an exciting project that will have real benefit for our local communities. It will have a double benefit of providing new skills for unemployed people, while shifting to a more sustainable way of living. We are delighted to be helping 2,000 people find a brighter future.

“Project BLUEPRINT builds on ARU’s pursuit of sustainable, innovative and ethical business in communities, social justice, and building social value whilst improving value for money with our largest local authority partner.”

It is hoped that 30 local authorities will implement the model, with an estimated 78,000 people shifting their behaviour to support circular economy growth.

BLUEPRINT is being funded by Interreg France (Channel) England. 

For more information about project BLUEPRINT, or to get involved, please contact Dr Lewis Walsh or visit the BLUEPRINT website.