People across Yorkshire are being urged to sign up to Britain Remade: a new nationwide campaign to back British industry that will help boost jobs, heat homes and cut bills.
Launching on Tuesday 8 November Britain Remade will campaign to remove the hurdles standing in the way of a new industrial revolution that will speed up the country’s drive towards energy independence and help families with the cost of living.
Yorkshire-born founder Sam Richards said: “Britain’s ideas and industries shaped the modern world. We can do it again, but a lack of investment, Westminster short-termism, and a broken planning system are holding us back. Our message is simple – let’s fix it and get Britain back to what it is good at.”
Richards, a former top government adviser on energy and industrial policy, is concerned Britain is falling behind. He believes excessive hurdles are the reason why Britain is failing to keep pace with other countries in building new energy infrastructure, major transport schemes and good quality homes.
He said: “We risk missing out on new opportunities for Yorkshire that would help Britain lead the world in clean industries such as offshore wind and electric vehicles.”
He highlighted the case of Yorkshire’s long-delayed new offshore windfarm, Hornsea 3.
When it is finished, Hornsea 3 will power three million homes and create 5,000 skilled jobs in engineering, manufacturing, and construction.
Yet the project was delayed four times due to the planning system and won’t come online till 2027, despite originally being proposed in 2016.
Richards said: “This is not an isolated case. Across the UK, infrastructure projects that will reduce our reliance on foreign gas, slash bills and create decent jobs are being held up by bottlenecks in our planning system. This is just one reason for why the British economy is stalling. It doesn’t have to be this way. Britain Remade will campaign to fix this.”
A YouGov poll for Britain Remade reveals 67% of the public think the country is bad at delivering the infrastructure it needs, while just 18% think the country has a good track record.
More than half of Britons want to see new Clean Energy Zones across the country, which would reduce the planning process for renewable energy projects. Some 52% of the public supported this idea for fast-tracked clean infrastructure projects while just 11% were opposed.
Almost three quarters of the public, 70%, thought Britain had made too many short-term decisions about energy supply in the past while more than half of those polled, 61%, said the country imported too much energy from abroad. Just six per cent thought Britain was importing too little and eight per cent said the amount was “about right”.
There was also strong support for an expansion of solar farms and offshore windfarms around Britain in the YouGov poll. Asked to rank the types of energy production they wanted to see more of, solar farms and offshore wind farms emerged at the top, while coal and gas fired power stations and fracking came at the bottom.
The poll also asked how optimistic or pessimistic people felt about “the opportunities available to you and your family in Britain at the moment?”. More than half of those polled, 63% said they were fairly or very pessimistic while only 22% felt “fairly optimistic”, and just two per cent felt “very optimistic”.
Richards will launch the campaign with a series of roundtables, asking Yorkshire businesses, community leaders, and workers about the changes they want to see in their communities. He will then tour across the country urging more people to back Britain Remade.
The campaign, which is not party political, aims to provide a powerful platform to people who feel let-down by politicians’ promises.
Richard said: “People are right to feel frustrated. The economic facts are grim. A British family is now almost £6,000 worse off than the average German family, around £13,500 worse off than the average American family, and on course to be poorer than a Polish family within a decade.”
He said: “I grew up in Yorkshire, and I know how to get stuff done in Government. Currently, too many people feel ignored by our politicians, which is why I have started Britain Remade to campaign for real change, that can create real impact up and down Britain. I hope people will join Britain Remade, and together we can help get this great county back to what it's good at.”
Britain Remade will publish a plan for change in 2023.