Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, visited Tyseley Energy Park (TEP) in Birmingham to find out more about the collaboration that is taking place between academia, industry and the public sector and how this is creating solutions that that will drive carbon reduction across the region.
The visit was organised as part of Sir Keir’s trip to Birmingham to launch the Party’s new Contract with the British People. It also offered an opportunity to meet with Professor Adam Tickell, the University of Birmingham’s new Vice Chancellor and David Horsfall, Director of TEP, as well as Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet member for transport and environment for Birmingham City Council.
During his speech, Sir Keir emphasised his party’s pledge for capital investment to combat climate change, create the next generation of jobs and to inspire innovation for a clean future.
The primary purpose of the visit to TEP was for Sir Keir to see the hydrogen refilling infrastructure and the hydrogen bus fleet, recently introduced by Birmingham City Council and partners.
The visit also provided the opportunity to show Sir Keir other phases of development across TEP and to discuss the role it will play in Birmingham’s drive towards a clean energy future. Sir Keir was given a tour of the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre, which was delivered by the University of Birmingham and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership in 2021 and includes business incubation as well as laboratory and testing space
Professor Tickell said: “Sir Keir delivered a strong message about the need for investment to combat climate change and the need to inspire innovation for a clean future. We were delighted to welcome Sir Keir to Tyseley Energy Park and to show how TEP, together with the University and other partners, is working towards these goals, delivering low and zero carbon innovation for Birmingham, and for the UK as a whole.”
Reflecting on the visit to TEP, Sir Keir Starmer said: “Tyseley Energy Park tackles the challenges of clean energy on multiple fronts, from hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to energy from waste and other renewable sources. It’s a great demonstration of what can be achieved through effective partnership between industry and academia.”
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, added: “It was a privilege to welcome Sir Keir Starmer to the Tyseley Energy Park today. I want Birmingham to become a test-bed for hydrogen fuel in the United Kingdom, with green hydrogen fuelling our public transport and heating our houses in the years to come. Tyseley Energy Park will help to make this ambition a reality, and it is fantastic that Sir Keir Starmer is on-board with our vision.”
The tour was also attended by MPs Preet Gill and Jess Philips; Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council; Deborah Cadman OBE, Chief executive of BCC; Zafar Iqbal, Councillor for Tyseley and Hay Mills; and Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute. Sylvia Broadley, Head of Air Quality – Energy and Transport at BCC; Ian McLeod, Acting Director Inclusive Growth for BCC; and Tom Stables, CEO National Express were also present.