Us in Action
Low Carbon Expertise and Project Development
Working with Kent County Council, in 2015, Erica combined her business expertise with low carbon
economy knowledge to help facilitate the development of the LoCASE project. This included working
with partners from across the public sector and academia to create a framework for action, design
work strands, and set project goals. This stage of any project is difficult as different partners'
aims and ideas need to be brought together to form a coherent plan. This was achieved within the
framework of an SME supply and demand programme. Working in collaboration with the Kent
climate team and a bid writer, Erica was also able to contribute content on low carbon strategy,
research data and operational outputs. LoCASE is now in its third iteration, having drawn down
£52.6m of European Union and match funding, and operating not merely across the South East LEP
area but now covering Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and the Solent.
The programme has so far worked with more than 1200 businesses to help them cut emissions and/or
develop new low carbon products or services.
Developing project governance – Community Led Local Development
Setting up a new grant-based project is complex and has to correctly operationalise a detailed set of
funder requirements. With this in mind, Thurrock Council asked us to support the set up of a
governance process. We provided the Local Action Group (LAG) board with clear guidance, simplified
decision making, and developed members’ understanding and confidence in their roles. This was
especially important as the board needed to have representatives from the public sector but also the
local community, NGOs and businesses, many of whom would be less familiar with such administrative
We worked with the board to review the whole grant application and approval process, such as
developing online webpages, forms, guidance, scoring criteria, and helped set up the full
governance structure. Solène used board presentations and discussion as part of an ongoing training
approach for the members, which was then reinforced with a bespoke training session. Here LAG
members were provided with clear guidance on their roles and responsibilities, the way in which
processes operated and how they should evaluate applications to ensure fairness and openness. The
session was run informally, with questions being asked as issues arose, which developed into interesting and useful discussions between members, all of which were logged and fed back to the project team.
Erica, who was running the refresher session, had positive feedback on what can be a dry and
difficult subject. Many felt that it had made them much more confident in assessing applications and
in understanding how to respond to questions from potential applicants or, indeed, criticisms of the