A NEW £2m fund is aiming to supercharge the region’s low-emission transport sector.
The Low Emission Transport Collaborative Projects Fund will offer grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 to SMEs looking to develop innovative products and services in the area of low carbon vehicles (LCV) ... an area that has attracted more than £200m of regional investment since 2006.
Supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the pot of cash will provide grants for joint projects between businesses and knowledge- based partners, such as research and development organisations and universities. It is designed to stimulate business growth and generate private sector jobs.
The new cash source will further propel the national and international reputation of the North East’s LCV industry which has already been recognised as the UK’s first designated Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA).
Dr Colin Herron, managing director of Zero Carbon Futures, the organisation set up to oversee the growth of the LCV industry in the North East, says the new fund is much needed.
He said: “When it comes to low carbon transport there is a clear opportunity for the North East to maximise the many assets that it already boasts ... an automotive sector and a well-established supply chain worth £1bn that is set to increase over the coming years in line with the demand for low-carbon vehicles.
“The launch of the Collaborative Projects Fund presents an excellent opportunity for North East businesses, working alongside knowledge-based partners, to capitalise on this emerging marketplace.”