A series of new EV charging points are coming to North-East Worcestershire thanks to a partnership with Zest to provide them on council-owned land. Around 120 new chargers will be deployed in 33 locations in the area, after Redditch Borough Council teamed up with Bromsgrove District Council to agree a long-term contract with EV infrastructure provider Zest.

Zest, the certified B Corporation backed by the government-sponsored Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), will invest around £2.1m to provide the new infrastructure for the next 15 to 20 years. Zest will provide, operate, and maintain the chargers, with no costs for the councils who are providing the land for the chargers for the duration of the contract.

Redditch Borough Councillor Gemma Monaco, whose portfolio includes Climate Change, said: “We’re delighted to deliver on a commitment we made to our residents and businesses to boost EV charger availability in Redditch by adding more chargers on our land. It’s something that more and more people are demanding, and the more we can support people to choose electric the better, not least because lower vehicle emissions mean better air quality. We’re very interested in what we might be able to do next in other council-owned places including in residential areas.”
Bromsgrove District Councillor Steve Colella, whose portfolio includes Climate Change, said: “As cars continue to electrify the need for local EV charging infrastructure is increasing, and this council will support this growth where we can, not only to give residents more options but also to help improve local air quality and cut carbon emissions.

We identified council-owned car parks and buildings where more EV chargers could be added, which Zest will now take forward. Furthermore, by collaborating with our counterparts over in Redditch we were able to put out a bigger, better contract and attract even more investment.”
Redditch Town Hall by Stephen McKay, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=106370911
Zest CEO Robin Heap said: “We’re delighted to win this large, forward-thinking contract, one of the first of its kind in the West Midlands. Growing a network that makes charging easy, convenient and reliable helps make the shift to EV a realistic option for everyone. Where councils and commercial landowners have the vision, we have the skills and the funding to make things happen quickly.”
Redditch Council Leader Cllr Matt Dormer added: “It’s important that the council do what we can where we can and show leadership on supporting the growing need for more EV infrastructure. Of course, transport transcends district boundaries, and so we were pleased to work together with Bromsgrove on the initial work so we could secure a bigger, better, investment for everyone.”

A rollout plan is now being developed, and the first of the new chargers are expected to be installed before spring. In this initial phase the contract will mostly add more chargers to more council-owned car parks, while also bringing chargers to the councils’ main workplaces.

Bromsgrove Council Parkside image by Andrew W Kerr - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87379372