• Client: West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Collaborators: Metro Dynamics | SOENECS Ltd
  • Service:
    • Implementation Support
  • Specialism:
    • Circular Economy
  • Sector:
    • Construction & Infrastructure |
    • Sports, Leisure & Culture
  • Status: Complete

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) commissioned Useful Projects to develop a case for investment for one of the opportunities identified in the Circular Economy Routemap that we developed – to take the idea of a ‘Zero Waste Construction Hub’ to reality.

The reuse of construction materials was highlighted as a significant area of opportunity for the West Midlands in its transition to a circular economy. To make this a reality, a robust case for investment was needed to describe the possible operating models, costs, benefits, and a route to implementation for a physical hub where construction materials could be resold.

A significant area of opportunity

We initiated the project with a feasibility study, identifying precedents for success and using our expansive networks across the Useful Simple Trust to engage with contractors, designers, and others to understand the opportunity define possible hub operating models.

We also identified suitable materials, key enablers, and barriers to define the market failure and understand how the WMCA’s strengths made them well-placed to address them.

Based on our initial study, we developed a detailed case for investment and clear vision for a self-sufficient reuse hub, aligned to the Five Cases model. We understood that local authority support would be crucial to enabling the operation and setup of the hub, and that each operating model would suit different local strengths and characteristics.

We engaged with two possible ‘host’ local authorities in the West Midlands to test the case for investment with them, and understand the most suitable operating models. This allowed us to create a case for investment which could be tailored to the local authorities, maximising its appeal.

Effective collaboration

We worked collaboratively with Metro Dynamics, an economic consultant, who developed the model detailing the economic, social and environmental benefits of the hub, and SOENECS Ltd., who provided expert advice on construction material reuse. Our collaborative approach allowed us to embed economic and social value in the operating model and the case for investment.

We are thrilled that the region’s first reuse hub is now being set up with £100,000 of funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).  The money, from the WMCA’s Community Environment Fund, will enable The Reuse Hub to open in Wolverhampton later in 2024 and run in a partnership between The Rebuild Site CIC (Community Interest Company) and Wolverhampton charity All Saints Action Network (ASAN).

Read more here.

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