Home Madrid Economy New £ 1million loan scheme set up for South West eco-business projects

New £ 1million loan scheme set up for South West eco-business projects


An innovative £ 1million fund has been set up to lend money to businesses for projects that benefit the South West’s economy and the environment.

The South West Heart (HotSW) LEP launched the Natural Capital Demonstrator (NCD) Fund for businesses and organizations to develop and finance “natural capital” projects that support the environment while providing broader economic benefits.

The NCD Fund is available for capital expenditure by providing loans to businesses and organizations. This financing approach was designed to test a new method of financing the protection and enhancement of the territory’s natural assets.

LEP hopes that the fund will be able to support a portfolio of projects that will provide new methodologies for natural capital that can be replicated in other areas and scaled up.

Karl Tucker, President of the South West LEP Heart

Natural capital is defined as the sum of ecosystems, species, freshwater, land, soil, minerals, air and seas. These are all elements of nature that directly or indirectly add value to people and to the country as a whole.

They do this in a number of ways, but primarily by providing food, clean air and water, wildlife, energy, wood, recreation, and protection from danger.

The NCD fund aims to support HotSW’s clean growth priority and is aligned with the government’s 25-year environmental strategy and ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

There is a two-step process to apply for the fund. Initially, a short expression of interest must be submitted by April 8. These will then be shortlisted and projects moving to the next stage may be able to apply for a share of £ 20,000 to help develop the full business case.

Business Live’s Southwestern business reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

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The business case must be submitted by June 30 and the decision on successful applications will be made in early September.

Karl Tucker, President of Heart of the SW LEP, said: “The Heart of the South West area is rich in natural assets, which we must continue to preserve and enhance.

“This fund was created to ensure that we explore new ways to protect and restore these assets while using them to increase social and economic benefits.

“This is a pioneering model and we are looking for demonstration projects that show the concept of natural capital in action and help develop an understanding of how we can together view environmental protection and economic growth.

“As something that can often see conflict, we are keen to explore ways to both meet needs and overcome those tensions.”

For more information, visit the LEP website by clicking on here.


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