• Client: Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Service:
    • Strategy/Routemap |
    • Policy Advice
  • Specialism:
    • Regenerative Business & Design |
    • Zero Carbon
  • Sector:
    • Public Sector
  • Status: Complete
Central Bedfordshire, Alamy stock photo

As a hub of thriving market towns in the heart of the UK’s motorway, rail and air networks, and located only 30 minutes from London, Central Bedfordshire is targeted as an area of substantial growth. In July 2021, this was reflected in the new Local Plan which includes provisions for 20,000 new homes and 24,000 new jobs by 2035.

Creating innovation

With Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC) aim for this growth to be sustainable and support carbon neutrality in the area, it has prioritised climate action and demonstrating leadership for sustainable development in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To support this ambition, Useful Projects was commissioned to develop an innovative and creative Sustainability Plan for 2020-2030.

Co-developed with council officers and members, we conducted a baseline view to assess the CBC’s previous work, determining its sustainable organisational maturity. The baseline review and its key results were presented at a member’s workshop where attendees selected the top criteria to prioritise identified opportunities.

The Plan was then established to set out clear actions for progressing key opportunities, structured under four main sections:

  1. Council’s processes: embedding sustainability and enhancing capacity.
  2. Lead: leading by example on council buildings.
  3. Invest: facilitating investment in infrastructure.
  4. Influence: influencing residents and businesses.

The final section focuses on implementation and governance.


The Sustainability Plan has been very well received by the Council and local stakeholders. Following this work, we have also developed a whole-life costing guidance for CBC, further to a guide on quantifying the tangible co-benefits delivered through sustainability.

Our team have worked with the Council’s housing development company, New Vista, to create a sustainable design checklist that ensures sustainability is embedded in residential projects brought forward in the area.

We are now acting as trusted advisors and helping the CBC to implement the Sustainability Plan.

Central Bedfordshire New Buildings and Renewable Energy Infrastructure Report Spreads
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