Kent County Council has announced the launch of a new three year EU funded programme called ‘Low Carbon Across the South East’ (LoCASE).
The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020 and has over £18.5 million available to provide support to businesses in a number of ways:
Two types of grant funding are available (up to a maximum of £10k) to improve business performance in terms of competitiveness, profitability and resilience, as well as contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment. The grant funding would form 40% of the cost of an eligible project, while the remaining 60% is matched by the business. The two grant categories are;
1. Any business can qualify to use this money toward having energy efficiency measures installed for their business, including both the cost of materials and installation.
2. For low carbon businesses offering goods or services, a business development grant is available to claim against eligible costs such as marketing, consultancy, equipment, IT software, licences, training and certification.
In both cases, money cannot be allocated retrospectively.
Also available under the programme is the Steps To Environmental Management (STEM) scheme, which can help businesses build an environmental management system aligned with the requirements of ISO 14001, or redesign an existing system using provided tools and templates. Free workshops will be available focussing on each of the three stages of the scheme so applicants are able to progress at their own speed. This longstanding scheme is being updated to ensure it stays relevant with the new formulation of ISO 14001 and also incorporates business resilience information.
There is also potential for businesses to have a graduate placement to help on an appropriate project, bringing their technical and academic knowledge whilst receiving work experience.
A number of events and conferences will be supported by the programme to help share information about the low carbon market including technologies and procurement whilst also providing networking opportunities.
The LoCASE project is being delivered by Kent County Council in partnership with Essex County Council, Southend-On-Sea Borough Council, Thurrock Council, East Sussex County Council and the University of Brighton.
To be eligible for support, you simply have to meet the definition of an SME and have your business located in one of the following areas: Kent and Medway, Essex, Thurrock, Southend and/or East Sussex.
Please note that support is not yet available as KCC is currently in the process of agreeing funding delivery legalities, but if you would like to express an interest in taking up any of the support available, please complete the form below, ensuring you use an original signature, and return to them via email or post using the following contact details.
Low Carbon Kent Team, Kent County Council,1st Floor Invicta House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XX
Tel: 03000 415111
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