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WMG pledges support to make Coventry digitally inclusive

WMG at the University of Warwick is proud to be an active partner in Coventry City Council’s pioneering digital recycling scheme, the #CovConnects Device Bank.

The project, which is part of the Council’s Digital Inclusion programme and supported by the Cities Climate Change Strategy, was launched on principles of circular economy by reusing andWMG pledges support to Coventry City Council’s pioneering digital recycling scheme, the #CovConnects Device Bank repairing end of corporate life devices which are then distributed to local communities.

The Council was awarded the funding following a successful application to the Time after Time fund. The fund was created and is distributed by Hubbub and Virgin Media O2, and looks to fund projects that help to close the digital divide while reducing electronic waste.

Cllr Richard Brown, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources at Coventry City Council, said: “Our #CovConnects programme is all about making sure none of our residents are digitally excluded. That’s why I’m delighted we’ve won this funding.

“This money will allow us to expand our efforts and get more of these devices into the hands of the most vulnerable. Having your own device, which you can use every day, is something that has the potential to completely transform your life.

“This project is a true partnership with the NHS, WMG and other partners across the city. Together we can make Coventry truly digitally inclusive.”

Dr Russ Hall, WMG’s Lead for Circular Economy and Sustainable Manufacturing at the University of Warwick, and Chair of the Coventry City Climate Change Board Circular Pathway, added: “It’s really important to be a part of this fantastic scheme. We want to research the reuse, remanufacture and recycling of digital equipment. This is a great example of where sustainable practices like circular economy can address societal issues like digital poverty, and we want to do all we can to help it flourish and grow. It has real environmental benefits as part of the circular economy and can play a vital role in overcoming digital exclusion.”

Digital Recycling is a key element within the Council’s Climate Change Strategy. Dr Russ Hall and Friya Tailor from WMG, are working with colleagues from the Council to evaluate the environmental benefits of the project. The research will in turn be shared nationally enabling other organisations to learn from the scheme.

To find out more about the #CovConnects programme, visit:

Virgin Media O2 and Hubbub established the Time After Time fund in 2022 in response to the nation’s growing e-waste problem, with the UK producing more electrical waste per person than any other country in the world (except for Norway).

#CovConnects was selected as one of eight winners from more than 120 entries by a panel of judges including TV presenter and environmentalist George Clarke, non-profit, Material Focus, digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, plus Hubbub and Virgin Media O2.

Find out more about Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing research at WMG here: Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing Group (