In December, representatives from OxLEP visited Earth Trust’s ‘Earth Lab’ as they unveiled their new green rooftop.
Earth Trust, an environmental learning charity, was awarded £1.49m in funding via the Local Growth Fund to build Earth Lab, a new, environmentally friendly education centre, and develop an existing barn into an Innovation Hub.
The Earth Lab will showcase a host of eco-friendly materials and features, incorporating natural building materials that lock up carbon. Designed to sit in harmony with the landscape, the construction comprises a timber frame, straw insulation panels, a rammed earth wall (using soil from the location), a green roof and the minimum concrete possible.
Earth Lab will provide flexible classroom space enabling the Earth Trust to deliver STEM and art-based environmental education, improving the skills and confidence of people of all ages. This development will offer significant opportunities to help bring people together, to discover what they can do to care for environmental ecosystems, vital for the future of our planet.
Earth Lab will double the Earth Trust's capacity to engage young people and provide opportunities for bringing environmental science to life throughout the curriculum. The result will be a generation that actively values and cares for their planet.
The Local Growth Fund investment aims to allow LEPs to use their local knowledge to promote growth in their individual regions.
Analysis has shown that for every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested, £4.81 in benefits could be generated.
OxLEP secured £780,000 of funding for the project via the government’s Local Growth Fund.
Since its inception in 2011, OxLEP – with its partners – has secured around £660m-worth of government funding for Oxfordshire, which has seen more than 48,000 new jobs created in the county to-date.
In total, OxLEP currently oversees a £2.2bn growth programme for the county.