South West College’s Rural Economic Accelerator programme, ‘Strand 2’ is currently helping propel local businesses towards Net Zero by 2050.

As part of the programme, which is supported by UKCRF, companies operating in the Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Mid Ulster District Council areas are being supported with their sustainability focused projects and developments by SWC and additional delivery partners Queen’s University Belfast and Southern Regional College.

This month, Portadown-based waste management company, ReCon Resources and representatives from both South West College and Queen’s University Belfast met to discuss project updates for ReCon’s decarbonisation journey.

Using funding made available by the project, ReCon are taking steps to enhance circularity of waste products and looking at novel methods in a dual-pronged approach to decarbonise their concrete production. ReCon are aiming to produce a sustainable concrete product utilising their high quality recycled resources with the objective of reducing the carbon footprint associated with conventional concrete manufacture.

Innovation lead for SWC, Dr John Harrison commented;

“Through this very timely support provided by UKCRF, SWC are directly supporting innovative decarbonisation strategies for local companies. ReCon is a great example of a progressive local business and we hope that, with our collaboration partner QUB, it will yield new research findings and strategies resulting in a successful decarbonisation journey and collaboration in the future”

Technical manager for ReCon, Mark Hamill noted the importance of the support at this time, adding;

“ReCon are focused on decarbonisation and sustainability through our everyday operations however this project has enabled us to explore new options that will further our strategy”

Dr Sree Nanukuttan, from QUB said;

“Queen’s University is delighted to be working with South West College in order to facilitate the innovation project brought to us by ReCon. We are utilising our concrete lab facilities and scientific analysis to demonstrate the feasibility of this project”