The Land Regeneration Network (LRN), led by the Geoenvironmental Research Centre, in the School of Engineering, was launched in March 2003 to promote sustainable practices in land management and industrial waste sectors in Wales.
Part-funded by National Assembly for Wales' ERDF Objective 1, Objective 2, and Transitional structural funds, the Network involves a number of private and public sector organisations in the delivery of its activities. The Network is supported by the Welsh Development Agency, the Environment Agency and Welsh Assembly Government, and enjoys participation from a wide range of companies and organisations across Wales.
Dr David-Huw Owen, Development Manager of the University's Geoenvironmental Research Centre said: "Since the launch of the Network in March 2003, the scale of membership growth has rapidly exceeded expectation. Membership currently stands at roughly 1250 individuals from about 890 companies and organisations in Wales - the majority of which are SMEs. Awareness of the LRN and its activities continues to grow, evident through the lively participation at our networking events, significant interest in the website and its resources, and demand for the support services offered by the Centre through the Network projects".
Gwyn Griffith, Land Reclamation Director of the WDA, and Chair of the LRN's Industrial Advisory Board commented: "In its first year, the LRN has added significantly to the support available to these sectors for environmental business development in Wales. The timely and reliable high-quality information resource and business networking events provided by the LRN have contributed to the growing demand for clear technical information in the environmental sector and will continue to provide assistance to the whole of Wales through the environmental improvements that will result. It gives Wales the opportunity to build on existing expertise and become a world-leader in these sectors of land, waste and sustainable environmental management."
Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies said: "This is an exciting project which helps build on Wales' experience and reputation for environmental development in this field. It also demonstrates clearly the benefits of European Structural Funding helping a very wide range of environmental companies and organisations in Wales."
Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside, Carwyn Jones said: "This is an outstanding development for Wales and I warmly congratulate everyone involved in the Network. It helps keep business in Wales at the vanguard of sustainable land and waste management, not only in the UK, but also worldwide. Exploiting the knowledge economy to the full is the cornerstone of our national economic development strategy. A quality network such as this, helping to maintain awareness and offering the ability to draw on the latest thinking is more vital than ever before, and is exactly what is needed for this rapidly expanding sector."