A refreshed Civic Agreement marks a new phase in the Universities for Nottingham initiative
In 2020, the city’s two universities were the first in the country to sign a civic agreement and commit to working in collaboration with local partners as ‘anchor institutions’ to advance the prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing of our communities.
The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University have a proud heritage as institutions devoted to teaching, learning, research and scholarship. We are equally proud of our heritage in supporting the region’s cultural, social and economic history: from making our workshops available to support the war effort in 1914 to contributing our facilities, expertise, staff and students to support the national effort to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic more than a century later.
It is against this most recent challenging backdrop that Universities for Nottingham was mobilised. Whilst this has inevitably brought many challenges, it has also given the partnership a strong, shared focus and an even greater sense of ambition to support the post-pandemic recovery.
Our first Civic Agreement made several pledges in areas such as: using innovation to support sustainable economic recovery; raising educational aspiration and attainment; collaborating for environmental sustainability; and training and retaining a highly skilled healthcare workforce.
In each of these areas we have established a strong foundation from which to build and have already begun to see outcomes arising from our shared endeavours. In addition to our rapid response to the challenges of Covid-19, our collaboration has enabled the creation of additional places to train nurses in specialisms where there were shortages, particularly in mental health and learning disabilities. We have supported the successful roll out of the Green Rewards App across both universities and local authority partners, which has already led more than 6,500 people to adopt more sustainable behaviours, equating to half a million kilos of CO2 saved across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
With the recent launch of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, the importance of setting shared priorities across an area, and speaking with one voice in support of our communities, is more essential than ever. Our work over the past 18 months has created strong foundations from which to drive forward the next steps in our civic mission.
Working together as signatory partners, we have refocused the Civic Agreement to bring together 15 initiatives across five themes, setting out significant shared ambitions and challenges for the future, including:
- working together as large local employers, to focus on equality, diversity and inclusion.
- sharing our trailblazing work on women’s safety and embedding good practice and learning across our partnership.
- driving forward innovative digital support programmes for employers and communities.
- collaborating to understand further clinical skills gaps across the local healthcare system and develop new provision to meet these needs.
- leading the push towards a zero-carbon future through shared and innovative approaches to behaviour change as well as collaboration on ground-breaking research programmes.
We invite you to register your interest if there is a particular initiative or theme you would like to be involved in delivering. We understand the importance of collaborative working to drive forward this exciting agenda across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
It is ambitious, but with a mature and committed partnership driving it forward and a great deal of momentum, energy and appetite for success, Universities for Nottingham will continue to build our heritage of supporting the region’s people, economy and society.
Professor Shearer West
University of Nottingham
Professor Edward Peck
Nottingham Trent University