Sajid Javid met Cllr Julian Daly, Leader and James Blake, Chief Executive of St Albans City and District Council at the Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise. Representing Rothamsted Research at the meeting were Angela Karp, Director – Science Innovation, Engagement and Partnerships and Chris Dunkley, CEO of the Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise (RoCRE).
They discussed how the Green Triangle initiative is raising the area's profile as a world-renowned centre of excellence in green technology.
Key Green Triangle members include Rothamsted Research, known globally for its work in agricultural science, and the Building Research Establishment, a world leader in the built environment. Other members include the District Council, the University of Hertfordshire and Oaklands College.
The Green Triangle was instrumental in getting government approval for a multi-site Enviro-tech Enterprise Zone for west Hertfordshire.
The Zone will help to attract new green technology businesses and investment to the area. It is being developed with Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Dacorum Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council and St Albans City and District Council.
Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: "It was great to hear about how the Green Triangle initiative is helping drive local economic growth in St Albans. The project plays a key role in bringing new businesses, investment and jobs to the local area."
The Secretary of State heard how Rothamsted Research has already set up a unique hub focused on promoting innovation through collaborative partnerships with commercial agricultural technology businesses. Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise opens up the research process by providing businesses access to world-class facilities and researchers, as well as laboratories, offices and meeting space.
Cllr Daly, who is also Chair of the Green Triangle, said: "Local authorities can play a crucial role in developing an economic growth strategy for their area by identifying and supporting sectors with potential for commercial expansion. Here, we brought world-renowned key players in green technology together to help develop the enviro-tech sector locally. New businesses are getting access to top-class research facilities and support at Rothamsted Research. Local education providers are also developing courses focused on the enviro-tech sector to enhance the skills of apprentices in the workplace and students in higher education."