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Hampshire County Council commissioned the consultancy of the New Economics Foundation to support creation of a strategy for green economic recovery that:

  • Improves living standards rather than simply targeting GVA growth.
  • Supports the creation of good, secure jobs.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the county.

We explored what a green economic recovery means for Hampshire, identified and assessed priority areas, and then brought together experts and local stakeholders to develop ideas for council strategy.


With an estimated 24% of Hampshire’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from residents living in their homes, our focus was on two key areas: 

  • Financing the investment needed to tackle emissions, housing deprivation, and fuel poverty.
  • Tackling skills deficits in low-energy construction.

To identify and settle on these priority areas, we engaged a wide range of stakeholders and built on the existing work of Hampshire 2050.


This work was undertaken in three phases:

  1. Reviewing what a green economic recovery means for Hampshire.
  2. Defining and assessing priority areas.
  3. Developing ideas for council strategy

Phase 1 – Reviewing what a green economic recovery means for Hampshire

To explore what a green economic recovery meant for Hampshire, we used Hampshire 2050 as a starting point, supporting this with a document review and stakeholder interviews. We also explored the issue of skills deficits in areas of importance to a green economic recovery. Our analysis led us to focus on an initial quantification of skills deficits in low-energy construction and retrofit.

Phase 2 – Defining and assessing priority action areas

We assessed priority action areas against criteria for a green economic recovery, with the two highest scoring priorities being:

  • Priority 1: Tackling skills deficits in low-energy construction.
  • Priority 2: Addressing housing-related emissions and deprivation.

Phase 3 – Developing ideas for council strategy

We worked with council colleagues, key local partners, and sector experts to identify actions the council could take to work towards enabling a green economic recovery for Hampshire. We held two policy-lab workshops on each priority area to translate the shared ambition into tangible local policy ideas for the council.


The following is a summary of some of our recommendations for Hampshire’s green economic recovery. For full details, see the report on the Hampshire County Council website.

Finance for Housing Retrofit

  • Assess the investment required to decarbonise Hampshire’s housing stock, and the related income profile and tenure of property occupiers, to inform an analysis of appropriate financing options.
  • Bring together stakeholders to recognise the co-benefits of housing retrofit. Use this as the basis for pooling relevant budgets to support the development of a retrofit strategy, and the delivery of this strategy.
  • Establish a council-operated ‘one-stop shop’ for the retrofit of privately owned housing, as a key element of Hampshire’s retrofit strategy. Key elements of this ‘one-stop shop’ should be to:
    • Assess and communicate the benefits of retrofit to residents alongside key guidance.
    • Communicate the different blended financing options to residents interested in retrofit.
    • Support the expansion of long-term financing options for residents interested in retrofit.
  • Make the argument for ambitious and stable policy and funding from central government.
  • Explore how to work with lower-tier authorities to support the retrofit of council-owned stock.
  • Drive forward retrofit in the ‘able to pay’ and social housing market segments before the harder-to-reach groups.

Skills for Low-Energy Construction

  • Map the availability of low-energy construction skills and suppliers in Hampshire.
  • Map the demand for labour for housing retrofit against supply and identify shortages.
  • Develop a low-energy construction skills strategy to address current skills gaps and achieve wider objectives in the sector to include addressing the lack of ethnic diversity and low levels of female participation.
  • Work with lower-tier authorities to use planning powers to support a net zero construction skills strategy. In addition, to set higher energy efficiency standards for new developments.
  • Embed the council’s strategic aims into its procurement system, so that construction contracts meet diversity-related targets and higher energy efficiency standards. Additionally, explore the possibility of insourcing construction operations.
  • Pursue the devolution of the Adult Education Budget, so the council can shape training to meet local needs.
  • Use council-led projects to develop the skills needed for low energy construction in Hampshire.
  • Explore alternative building control function arrangements to uphold construction standards through independent inspectors.

For more information see the report and briefing papers on the Hampshire County Council website.

Contact us to discuss how we can support your local economic strategy development.

New Economics Foundation

NEF aims to create a new economy that works for people and within environmental limits. We are guided by three missions:

A new social settlement
To ensure people are paid well, have more time off to spend with their families, and have access to the things we all need for a decent life.

A Green New Deal
A plan for government-led investment to reduce the carbon we emit and boost nature, while creating a new generation of jobs.

The democratic economy
To devolve state power and transform ownership of the economy to give everyone an equal stake in the places where we live and work.

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