On Friday 13th January 2023, the Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste (CREWW) team were honoured to host the Rt Hon Mr Ben Bradshaw (Labour MP for Exeter) and Steve Race (future Labour candidate).

They met with Professor Richard Brazier (Co-Director for CREWW) and Josephine Butcher (Programme Manager for CREWW), at the University of Exeter’s Streatham campus for a tour which included the new CREWW building construction site.

The group discussed the role of CREWW and the research that the centre delivers – providing an insight into the work being completed by University staff with sector experts and engineers from co-founder, South West Water. Although the building is currently still under construction, CREWW is an active research centre with multiple current projects at various stages, from conception to completion.

They also discussed CREWW as a leading researcher in water systems, highlighting the fantastic inter- and trans-disciplinary approach that was adopted at the Centre’s beginning in order to tackle the challenges presented by the climate crisis, water poverty, and natural resource management.

The team were keen to host Mr Bradshaw and Mr Race as engagement with communities and government, such as local MPs, is a prime example of CREWW’s strategic priorities. Making such connections can truly enable the impactful research taking place at the Centre, and facilitate positive changes in the water sector, be it via land managers, industrial partners, regulators, and customers alike.

Building the CREWW site on campus in Exeter was a strategic decision, aligning with the City of Exeter’s environmental strategy, which is spearheaded by the City Council, placing the building at the heart of the Streatham campus, where it is surrounded by academics from all disciplines and providing a space where all collaborators can co-create, work and deliver research over the next 25 years.

The Centre is also aligned closely with the University’s Strategy 2030; “…by creating knowledge, making discoveries and providing solutions through our research”. Furthermore, the Centre will lead meaningful actions against the climate emergency and ecological crisis, alongside the University’s wider work to create Net-Zero solutions worldwide.

The Centre’s key role to this wider strategy was most recently recognised by additional funding of almost £1 million; Research England provided the funding boost to empower the site to become ‘Net Zero in Operation’.

The CREWW building is due for completion in summer of 2023.