Our Heritage 2040: A New Energy for the Suffolk Coast

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Roundtable Conversations on Heritage and a Net Zero Carbon Future

Our Heritage 2040 – a series of essays from Suffolk residents, business leaders, energy experts, politicians and those involved in the creative arts – explores the tourism and energy sectors and Suffolk’s precious and outstanding Heritage Coast. Its ambition is to understand how best to reconcile global energy needs and local environmental responsibilities within a shared commitment to a Net Zero Carbon future. Its focus may be on England’s east coast, but the issues resonate for all.

Our Heritage 2040 is rich in challenges and future vision. It addresses profound social, economic and investment needs as well as celebrating heritage and culture. It seeks to establish meaningful legacy and outlines tangible actions for regional and national policymakers. Most of the essayists are drawn from the Sizewell Community Working Group. Many hold distinctive – and often opposing – views but have come together in a spirit of genuine collaboration.

A series of (virtual) roundtables bringing to life the essays and the issues are planned for October. More details below. We have a great line-up of speakers and contributors, with more to be confirmed shortly, including a number of leading regional and national politicians and policymakers. Each conversation group will be max. 16 people to ensure meaningful dialogue. Please get in touch if you would like to participate.

Over the course of a week, we will discuss Energy and Heritage; the Environment and Climate; and the overall ambition for joined-up, strategic thinking that helps deliver a Net Zero Carbon future.


Conversation 1: Our Heritage 2040: Global Needs & Local Responsibilities

Monday 19 October 2020: 12.00-1.45pm

The opening session of the roundtable series invites select national stakeholders into the conversation, using the publication as a basis for discussion. An exploration of what is feasible, as well as desirable. How can the Our Heritage 2040 thinking support better decision-making and policy initiatives at a national level? Addresses issues of long-term stewardship and community involvement/ engagement.

Contributors include:

  • Peter Aldous MP
  • Suba Das, Artistic Director, HighTide
  • Mark Goyder, Founder, Tomorrow’s Company & Author Entrusted
  • Andy Wood, CEO, Adnams PLC
  • Julia Pyke, Sizewell C
  • Michael Mahony, Friston campaigner (essayist)


Conversation 2: Heritage: 21st century ambition for Britain’s quietest county

Tuesday 20 October 2020: 12-1.45pm

How to make the bigger heritage visions real? What will it take to deliver ideas at scale, including Britain’s “first National Park Wild County” and a new artistic vision for the East? Is Slow Food and Slow Travel at Speed actually do-able?

Contributors include:

  • James Alexander, CEO, Future Agenda
  • Jo Deakin, journalist, filmmaker & campaigner
  • Clare Parsons, Chair, Lansons & Trustee, HighTide Festival Theatre
  • Paul Bongers de Rath, Aldeburgh Society


Conversation 3: Energy: Suffolk, the East Coast and the Power to Innovate

Wednesday 21 October 2020: 12-1.45pm

The future is now. Smarter thinking – and a genuinely joined-up vision for energy innovation in the East of England. How to integrate new energy ideas with the Heritage Coast –  a complement, not a burden? Can Lowestoft become Britain’s new Windy City? What can be learned from Net Zero Leiston?

Contributors include:

  • Nigel Cornwall, Hydrogen East
  • Tony Langham, CEO, Lansons
  • Michael Mahony, essayist and campaigner
  • Jonathan Reynolds, Managing Director, Opergy
  • Sarah Williamson, Technical Director, Laing O’Rourke


Conversation 4: Economy: A new energy for investment at scale

Thursday 22 October 2020: 12-1.45pm

Understanding the economic needs of Suffolk and what strategic investment can deliver for the region. Where it is needed – and where it is not. A new honesty about the (post COVID) challenges ahead.

Contributors include:

  • Lord Holmes of Richmond
  • Derek Wyatt, former MP and founder, Oxford Internet Institute
  • Tom McGarry, Sizewell C


Conversation 5 (Summary Session): Climate: Net Zero Carbon Together – but how and when?

Friday 23 October 2020: 12-1.45pm

Uniting the various conversations strands across the previous four sessions – energy and heritage together. What it will take to accelerate progress towards a Net Zero Carbon Future – and how the Suffolk Coast might lead the way. Understanding the barriers – and how to overcome them.

Contributors include:

  • Dominic Keen, Founder, Britbots and member, New Anglia LEP
  • Julia Pyke, Sizewell C
  • Johnathan Reynolds, Managing Director, Opergy Ltd
  • James Alexander, Future Agenda

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