Friday, January 20, 2017

News: SCR's £8m call for low carbon projects

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Whilst the UK remains in the EU, the Sheffield city region (SCR) can still benefit from European funding - a new call has gone out for low carbon and sustainable development projects.

Some £8m is available for projects in the SCR that "enhance the resilience of its energy supply and systems, as well as ensuring greater resource efficiency."

Structural funding from the EU is likely to be integral to meeting the targets in the Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP's) Growth Plan, which has set an ambitious target of creating 70,000 new jobs in the Sheffield city region (SCR) by 2023.

Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed last year that the Government will guarantee EU funding for structural and investment fund projects, signed after the Autumn Statement and which continue after the UK has left the EU (possibly in 2019).

The latest call for cash from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) states: "As well as pursuing reduced Green House Gas outcomes directly through business support for greater resource efficiency and low carbon development, Sheffield City Region is seeking to make a global impact via innovative Research & Development collaborations across sectors, to enhance its position and standing as a renowned centre of excellence in low carbon."

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Projects could include renewable energy schemes such as wind energy, solar and biomass; demonstration schemes; electric vehicles; and low impact urban buildings on brownfield land.

The call adds that £6m is expected to be made available within South Yorkshire as a Transition Region, and £2m within the remaining areas of SCR.

Bidders will need to bid for £500,000 for any single project. 60% of the total eligible project costs can be met by ERDF, subject to State Aid regulations, in the Transition Region and 50% in the More Developed Region. Consequently projects with a total value of less than £1m will not normally be supported under this call.

The closing date is February 17 2017.

Before the referendum, the LEP planned to spend some €28m on low carbon projects as part of its Structural Investment Fund Strategy that sets out how its initial allocation of €203m (£175m) of funding would be used.

SCR LEP website

Images: European Commission


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