Green Bridge Supply Chain Programme extended

Evesham Vale Greenhouse resized for webThe Department for Communities and Local Government has announced a major investment programme to support businesses wishing to diversify into green industries.

A grant of £7.5 million has been awarded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to extend the existing ‘Green Bridge Supply Chain Programme’, from which grants are still available.  The fund will be open to SME businesses in the West Midlands region.

Grant awards of between £10,000 to £1 million are available, up to 50% of the total cost.  Types of projects that will be considered are the purchase of capital equipment and improvement in systems or processes; relocation and expansion into new premises; new product development or new market development; skills development and business consultancy; coaching and mentoring.

To qualify, businesses must be an existing West Midlands-based SME (employing less than 250 people), operating in the green economy or seeking to diversify into this sector.  The investment will safeguard existing  jobs or create new opportunities and the business must operate in one of a number of eligible sectors or clusters.

Gary Woodman, Executive Director at Worcestershire LEP, says: “We are very pleased to hear that the Green Bridge Supply Chain Programme has secured additional funding from the ERDF.  So far, around 15 local businesses have benefited from the programme, creating over 150 jobs and securing another 70.  We would encourage Worcestershire businesses who operate in the green sector, or have aspirations to do so, to find out more about the grants available.  Applications from the county are being particularly welcomed as take up of the grants by Worcestershire businesses is currently lower than anticipated.”

Applications are being managed by Birmingham City Council.  Further details and one-to-one advice are available from Suresh Patel on 0121 303 3091 or Mohammed Zahir on 0121 303 2956, or visit the Programme website. The closing date for applications to this round of funding is 11 April 2014.