A £4million fund to help develop new innovations to safeguard the region’s energy supply and support the drive to Net Zero has been launched by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.
Grants of between £100,000 and £2million will be available through the new Marches LEP Energy Fund for capital projects which help future-proof energy provision, promote the use of renewable and sustainable power sources and boost the low carbon economy.
Rachel Laver, Marches LEP chief executive, said the fund was being launched to help the region address its climate responsibilities and the growing issues of energy security and the cost of power.
“The Marches LEP recognises that energy provision is a critical element for unlocking future growth which is why the board has given approval to open a £4million call for capital energy projects.
“There is not a business or family in the region which has not been impacted by the soaring energy costs of the past few months and we are all aware of the pressing need to respond to climate change and meet our net zero targets.
“We want to help projects which will help improve our energy infrastructure, contribute to the growing development of our low carbon economy, address the issue of fuel poverty across the Marches and also ensure that the region has a greater degree of energy security.
“This new fund builds on the key aims of the Marches Energy Strategy to build a clean, environmentally-responsible and resilient energy infrastructure across the region and will seek to help the most innovative, effective and sustainable projects across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin become a reality.”
Key objectives of projects to be supported by the fund include:
- Smart control and mitigation of grid constraints
- Innovation in agricultural technologies
- Sufficient reliable energy supply
- Development of the supply chain in key areas of the low carbon economy
- Local renewable energy supply
- Addressing high levels of fuel poverty
Tim Yair, regional senior energy projects officer for the Marches LEP, said applicants were being asked to submit an expression of interest before July 8. Shortlisted projects would then be invited to submit a full business case for appraisal.
“The full business cases will need to be able to demonstrate how they meet the objectives of the fund and that they can contribute at least 20% match funding to the project.
“This fund is an ambitious answer to some of the issues we are facing in terms of energy and we want to hear from as many applicants as possible who can help us deliver solutions which will stand the test of time and help deliver the new jobs, growth and prosperity this region truly deserves.”
For more details of the scheme and the application process visit https://www.marcheslep.org.uk/transparency/marches-lep-energy-fund/