Business News

Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) programme

We’re well into delivery of our Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) programme, with over £3.4m of ERDF grant investment in a range of projects for 535 SMEs in the region. Grants range from £1k to £10k depending on project size and impact, we’re averaging £6,400 per business at present.

There are two funding pots on offer. The first covers not just the standard lighting, heating and insulation retrofit works to scores of commercial buildings but can also help embed sustainability (such as sedum roofing) and renewable infrastructure into plans. It has also proved useful to those looking to adopt flexible travel and remote access options to reduce business mileage and associated emissions through site PDA, terminal server and video conferencing funding support. This is set to become even more flexible with the exciting news that we can now assist with Ultra Low Emission Vehicles for our SMEs on top of the Government’s existing Plug In Car Grant. A consideration when reviewing your fleet.

Our other work package has helped a number of firms in the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) sector develop and launch their products. One such SME is Green Gate Access Systems whose solar powered mobile site barrier SOSEC has enjoyed instant success and is already in operation on a number of construction, tourism and leisure sites locally and as far flung as Australia.

The design and construction sectors have already been well catered for with support integrating Building Information Modelling (BIM), design software and other process modernisation or streamlining projects approved, as well as opportunities to integrate reclaimed or upcycled materials into builds. Waste management and circular economy opportunities are being explored with our sector businesses and we’re supporting established firms expand the reach of their ‘green’ products.

Our wood fuel collaboration event last Autumn showcased our support for the biomass forestry and arboriculture sector as we look to see Kent sites chiefly service the biomass facility at Discovery Park in Sandwich, but also get the very best out of our woodland in the South East. This has seen over a dozen of these firms already get support in the form of our own ERDF grant funding.

We’re especially keen to work with electrical contractors and other trades who are quoting for refurbishment or upgrade works to other SMEs within the region. Not only can we help with business development costs but very often help their customers with funding towards these efficiency projects. This will not only reduce payback periods for their client but could be the difference between getting the job and losing out!

With this in mind, now is a perfect opportunity for all suppliers of ‘green’ goods or services in the region to work a little smarter and innovate so as to make the most of this flexible ERDF funding on offer to them and their SME customers within Kent, Essex and East Sussex. The programme is set to wind up in the Spring of 2019 and there’s still £2.6m left to claim.

Any questions? Please do get in touch with the team on 03000 415 111 or lowcarbon@kent.gov.uk

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