Boost as low carbon business programme is extended

THURROCK Council’s success in leading the funding of low-carbon projects across the south of Essex has led to an extension to the scheme – and extra money, totalling just over £1 million.

Thurrock has worked with numerous local councils and organisations in helping businesses find ways of reducing their carbon emissions and saving money and jobs at the same time.

Cllr Andy Smith, Thurrock’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “Our success led to a mid-Essex organisation wanting to join our efforts and we have come through for them all.

“Our expertise at managing the low-carbon programme and working in partnership, as well as our efforts helping businesses across the region has been recognised by the government.

“They contacted Thurrock and asked if we would bid to the Department of Communities and Local Government for extra cash to expand the excellent work we have been doing into mid Essex as well.

“We did and they’ve agreed it. Good news all round.”

He added: “This new £559,000 funding is in addition to the £615,000 Thurrock secured by Thurrock in May for extending the South Essex programme.

“Now a new grants programme of advice, support, and workshops will be launched in September across the whole area – from Chelmsford to the Thames.

“So far we have given out £1.4 million in grants to help create or safeguard over 500 jobs and we have seen savings of more than 1,600 tonnes of carbon emissions. Now we’ll be doing even more.”

Cllr Smith said: “This is yet another example of Thurrock Council working in close collaboration with partners – including Groundwork, the Thurrock Local Enterprise Agency and local councils – demonstrating our leadership in economic development and supporting businesses.

“We are delighted to be working with them all to deliver this programme to spread the benefits of the programme across half of Essex.”

Thurrock’s work on reducing carbon emissions has been done in partnership with Groundwork Essex as well as other councils and that partnership will continue.

The new schemes will be funded until the end of 2014 and will include £½ million specifically for grants businesses can bid for.

The new programme will begin in September and anybody interested should contact the low carbon business team in the Groundwork offices at 01268 758423.

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