Match funding on offer to Greater Birmingham and Solihull organisations

Projects linked to maximising the economic benefit of HS2 and promote the shift to a low carbon economy.

Organisations across Greater Birmingham and Solihull are encouraged to take advantage of regional funds totalling £11.6 million.

The funding, part of the region’s European Regional Development Fund Operational Programme, has been set up to stimulate economic development across Greater Birmingham.

Part of the programme, worth £7.7 million, aims to develop the low carbon economy. The low carbon industry in Greater Birmingham consists of 1,580 companies, employing nearly 29,000 people. Applicants can apply for project funding worth at least £500,000. A second funding package – valued at £3.9 million – aims to protect the environment and promote resource efficiency. The minimum value will also be £500,000.

Successful applications will link with Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s HS2 Growth Strategy and Sustainable Urban Development Strategy, which are designed to maximise the economic impact of the arrival of HS2. Organisations have until 30th March 2018 to apply for the funding.

Pat Laughlin, GBSLEP Sector Champion for Low Carbon and Environmental Technologies (pic front), said: “These funding packages provide opportunities for organisations across Greater Birmingham and Solihull to help reduce the reliance on carbon in the economy, while protecting the environment through efficient resource management. GBSLEP’s Sustainable Urban Development Strategy outlines the focus on sustainability in the built and natural environments, for example the Zero Emissions Cities initiative in the Smithfield area surrounding the HS2 station at Curzon Street.

“This is a unique opportunity for organisations that want to be a part of HS2 and have something to offer the region either economically or in protecting the physical environment. Building on GBSLEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, nearly £12 million worth of European funding is available to apply for until 30th March 2018. I would encourage all organisations eligible for the funding to be in contact with GBSLEP before the end of March.”

Priority Axis 4 of ERDF, which covers the £7.7 million low carbon economy funding, is available to organisations looking to focus on:

· Promoting the production and distribution of energy derived from renewable resources

· Promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy use in enterprises

· Supporting energy efficiency, smart energy management and renewable energy use in public infrastructure

· Promoting low-carbon strategies for all types of territories, particularly urban areas

· Promoting research and innovation in, and adoption of, low carbon technologies

ERDF’s Priority Axis 6, the £3.9 million funding into protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency, covers the following areas:

· Protecting and restoring biodiversity and soil and promoting ecosystems services, including through Natura 2000 and green infrastructure

· Promoting innovative technologies to improve environmental protection and resource efficiency in the waste sector, water sector and with regard to soil, or to reduce air pollution

Once approved, projects across both Priority Axes are given three years for delivery. To register interest, or for more information about funding and eligibility, email, or visit here.