Project which aims to boost green economy in county gets EU cash

Project could boost green economy including renewable energy generation
Project could boost green economy including renewable energy generation
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A project aimed at boosting green economic development in Banbury and the rest of the county has received £1.6million in funding.

Oxford’s Low Carbon Hub led the winning bid for cash from the European Regional Development Fund for the next three years.

This funding will be matched with another £1.6m, most of which will come from six partners that were also involved in the bid.

Called OxFutures, the project aims to increase the number of low carbon businesses as well as boosting the amount of renewable energy through the sharing of knowledge between academics, local authorities and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

OxFutures also offers grants to new products, new start-ups and energy-efficient measures. It is hoped it will result in improved air quality, reduced energy bills and a boost to the local economy.

Cherwell District Council is one of the six partners and is working with Bioregional, a charity which aims to create better places for people to live, work and do business in an environmentally-friendly way.

The two organisations will develop Oxfordshire GreenTech, a business network where its members share information and resources in a bid to create sustainable workplaces, products and services. Businesses can also access research from universities.

It is estimated the low carbon sector annually accounts for seven per cent of Oxfordshire’s revenue, with 570 businesses earning over £1bn in sales.

The Low Carbon Hub’s Barbara Hammond said: ‘We are reaching a tipping point where the growth of renewables and advances in technology are combining to make green energy the most economically sensible choice as well as the right choice for the future of our planet.

“Through OxFutures we are bringing together some of the most important low carbon players in Oxfordshire to ensure the county benefits both financially and environmentally from this energy revolution.’

SMEs interested in joining Oxfordshire GreenTech, applying for grant funding and/or applying for a free energy audit should contact the Low Carbon Hub at info@lowcarbonhub.org or call 01865 246099.