Oldham Council partnered with CLES, Carbon Co-op, URBED and UCL ona project funded by ICLEIto explore a community-led approach to the energy transition in two low-income neighbourhoods. As well as producing community-owned action plans, the project led to the development of a toolkit to allow other places to replicate the approach.
Two low-income neighbourhoods, Westwood and Sholver, were selected for pilots on the basis that they would benefit from improved local provision, the residents were often marginalised in decision making, and they had an existing strong community organising base.
As well as local residents, the project engaged with key local stakeholders (such as First Choice Homes, a local housing association) to boost the project’s impact.
Community-led wealth building approach
Beginning in spring 2021, the Oldham Energy Futures team worked with communities in a participative process which has enabled residents to, not only have their say in how they want the energy transition to happen in their place, but also to gain the skills and knowledge needed to take advantage of new opportunities in the low carbon sector.
Local authorities who want to adopt the methods outlined in the Community-led Energy Planning toolkit will find that it contains guidance, practical resources, workshop guides and tools to lead a place-specific project for their own communities.