Growing the Low Carbon Economy
Across the South East
LoCASE Grant Funding Now Exhausted
Well, let’s start with the figures. We’ve approved 955 grants to SMEs in the region, 563 of these for energy or resource efficiency projects. These have ranged from simple retrofit LED projects to renewable energy installations and more recently electric and plug in hybrid vehicles. As a result of this, we’re looking at likely savings of over 1,600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent and some significant air quality impacts of taking dozens of old diesels off the road.
We’ve also worked closely with the region’s Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services (LECGS) sector. This has seen 392 SMEs supported with £3M to help them establish, expand or enhance their operations and activities. Whether it be replacement plant or machinery, R&D support, consultancy or marketing activity, LoCASE has been quick to assist our ‘Green businesses’ wherever it could. This included helping part fund development and marketing of 79 new products or services and has helped create just shy of 350 regional jobs in what is an exciting and growing sector.
With 60 new firms given guidance and assistance, many other prospective projects and solutions highlighted through our Energy Audits and momentum gathering around the sustainability agenda we feel that this can’t stop here. We still have a raft of businesses on a waiting list for funding support so it has been a challenging time to try to assist as many as possible with money which has trickled back in from projects which did not proceed.
This momentum, clear latent demand and the region’s desired transition (under the mandate of the Local Energy Strategy) towards a low carbon economy, we are reasonably confident of securing a follow on legacy programme. Should approval be agreed, we will look to issue an update on here and to all who have registered their interest in the programme so don’t miss out on what may be the very last bite of such EU funding.