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New fund will support SMEs

A new fund to support SMEs adapt to a sustainable, low carbon future has launched as part of a multi-million pound Clean Growth Programme.

The £1.2 million environmental initiative is run by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and they have now opened applications for a new ‘Green Innovation Pivot Reports’ offering.

Up to £4,000 is available per grant to help businesses with funding expert advice or consultancy support to:

This new fund will help businesses maximise on opportunities that net zero is creating. By pivoting their businesses, SMEs can leverage new commercial opportunities in the growing Clean Growth sector. This first window for SMEs to apply runs until February 11, 2022.

With the Government’s continued ambition to drive down carbon emissions including the commitments made at COP26, helping local businesses become greener and more sustainable is a major priority for GBSLEP and GBSLEP Growth Hub.

Last month a dedicated virtual Sustainability Hub was opened to businesses. It has a range of support and advice to make it easier for SMEs to achieve their clean growth and decarbonisation goals.

Councillor Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council and GBSLEP Net Zero champion, said: “When GBSLEP launched its Clean Growth Programme, we made a commitment to help our businesses be at the forefront of the Green Industrial Revolution.

“This latest initiative addresses one of the big challenges that many businesses tell us they face in grasping the commercial opportunities as we transition to a more sustainable economy. By applying for grants from this new GBSLEP fund, businesses can secure high-quality advice from service providers in the region who can advise on how best to pivot their products, services and strategy and unlock their growth potential.

“To date, GBSLEP has already helped many businesses adapt their operations during Covid-19 through our Pivot and Prosper programme and most recently our WM Low Carbon and Circular Economy Fund.”

David Horsfall, director of Tyseley Energy Park, said: “For all businesses the race to net zero is one of the major themes that is informing decision-making today. As a 300-year-old business, we have already adapted our site in Tyseley, developing solutions for power, heating, transport and waste processing that address key societal challenges as part of the transition to a zero carbon energy future.

"However, there is still more to do and that’s why we will be applying for this latest round of GBSLEP funding as part of the £1.2 million Clean Growth Programme.”

The Green Innovation Pivot grant is open to SMEs with 11-249 employees and at least three years trading within the GBSLEP region. GBSLEP will cover up to 80% of the project costs, up to a maximum of £4000.