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What is the Essex Renewal Project?


The Essex Renewal Project brings together an independent panel of expert commissioners to examine the long-term -impacts of COVID-19, and to make recommendations on the steps required to improve outcomes and exploit future opportunities.

The project is being sponsored by the University of Essex and Essex County Council on behalf of Essex Partners.

The ERP has been recognises the importance of helping those who lead local communities, and the public service organisations that support them, to understand the long-term impacts of the pandemic across its multiple dimensions. It reflects the importance placed by local partners on supporting communities to tackle key issues in areas where the pandemic could have long-lasting effects, (e.g. on employment, educational achievement, and levels of inequality). But is also recognises the opportunity for renewal – it will examine how Essex might adapt and take new opportunities that open-up in the future, for example, around the development of the green economy and steps to tackle the climate crisis

Others will of course be looking at these issues, across the UK and across the globe. What makes this project unique is its focus on the experiences of a specific place – the county of Essex.

Through the project, we want to hear local stories, and to understand how the pandemic will affect specific places and people in Essex.  We want the commission to make recommendations that can guide our work – and the work of wider partners – in tackling the most challenging aspects of the pandemic’s legacy in Essex, and in building a better future for the county. 

Professor Jules Pretty is leading the Commission as its Chair. 

An initial report from the commission will be produced in early 2022, outlining the likely long-term impacts of the pandemic and identifying any specific challenges.  A final report in will be published in summer 2022 with recommendations on how local agencies and communities could manage risks and take advantage of new opportunities.