Based at the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus, there’s a small team striving to accelerate the green economy along the South Coast. Together, they’re driving the Green Growth Platform: the University’s contribution to uncoupling carbon emissions from economic growth. They provide vital information, encouragement and support to businesses wanting to ‘green up’ their processes and products, and to innovate and develop the low carbon/cleantech products and services of the future.
In the last three years, the Green Growth Platform has attracted over 860 members to share information, attend workshops and apply for essential funding. They’ve helped businesses to create over 200 jobs, develop around 50 new products or services, facilitated 75 innovation/research and development projects, and placed more than 80 students and graduates with member businesses to enhance their skills base.
Helping to make this happen is Business Growth Manager, Mark Riminton, who has spent 20 years working with high growth tech companies. Mark’s been helping dozens of businesses through LoCASE funding - one of the many ways that the Green Growth Platform supports businesses.
LoCASE (Low Carbon Across the South East), is an EU funded programme helping businesses to tackle climate change. Focusing on businesses in East Sussex, Kent and Essex, LoCASE grants provide a 40% contribution, up to £10,000, for low carbon/environmental businesses to grow or to develop products/services. Grants are also available for businesses in any sector to install a variety of energy efficiency measures.
With a whole host of businesses who’ve benefited from LoCASE funding over the last year, we asked Mark some questions for businesses interested in applying.
Who can apply for LoCASE funding?
LoCASE growth grants are available to support businesses involved in decarbonising the energy system, improving energy and resource efficiency, or businesses focused on conserving and enhancing the natural environment. Grants can be used for capital and revenue, including marketing, equipment, IP and product/service development.
So, if your business’s operations have a direct environmental benefit or you are simply seeking to improve your business’s energy efficiency, you could qualify for a LoCASE grant. Companies must be an SME and based in the qualifying location. Some sector exclusions apply.
Is it just for specialist environmental businesses?
Not at all. Whilst we work with a range of incredibly innovative green businesses, LoCASE support is also available to businesses contributing to lowering carbon emissions or improving resource/energy efficiency. We’ve also supported Zero Kitchens, sustainable kitchen designers from Uckfield, Reef Environmental, a recycling company in St Leonards, and the Spithurst Hub, a low carbon office space in Barcombe.
The LoCASE grant is also designed to support two purposes - supply and demand. ‘Supply’ could refer to a heating company supplying more efficient heating systems. The company could use the grant for capital equipment or to help grow their business, such as website development. ‘Demand’ refers to a business which wants to use the heating company to install the more efficient heating system. The grant could part fund the installation project.
How challenging is the application process?
I’ve worked on a lot of similar funding projects over the years and have to say that one of the greatest things about LoCASE is how easy we’ve tried to make the process.
It does, of course, have a few checks and balances due to it being government funding. However, at the Green Growth Platform, we work closely with businesses to ensure that they get the best possible chance to access this funding and make a difference.
To find out how the Green Growth Platform can help your business, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 641949. www.greengrowthplatform.co.uk