Pictured: Enterprise M3 Chair, Dave Axam, launching the Enterprise M3 Clean Growth Enterprise Fund at Accelerating the Clean Economy in the South at Marwell Wildlife
The multi million pound 'Enterprise M3 Clean Growth Enterprise Fund' has been announced as part of the Government’s Green GB Week.
Entrepreneurs and innovators in the private and public sectors are being invited to come up with ambitious, ground breaking capital projects to help drive a step change in clean growth in the Enterprise M3 LEP area.
Chair of Enterprise M3, Dave Axam, launched plans for the growth fund at an event in Hampshire when he pledged to turn Green GB Week into Green GB Everyday.
Speaking at “Accelerating the Clean Economy in the South” at Marwell Wildlife, Dave said: “Our vision is the Enterprise M3 area becomes known at home and abroad for its high tech; high growth; low carbon economy.
“Our Strategic Economic Plan, just published, sets out how we want to focus our region’s economy – unique for its knowledge, digital and design-based economy - on clean growth to drive productivity and international trade.
“The Government’s Grand Challenges of Clean Growth and Future Mobility are 'Great Opportunities' to Enterprise M3 and our 'Clean Growth Enterprise Fund' is about the LEP investing with businesses and other partners to deliver clean growth results.
“The 'Enterprise M3 Clean Growth Enterprise M3 Fund' will support capital projects needing between £1 million and £5 million investment from Enterprise M3 LEP, with at least 50% match funding from the applicant. We will be looking for projects of considerable scale and impact which would fully exploit the outstanding strengths in our area of advanced digital and data technologies, and would deliver clean growth.”
He added: “For Enterprise M3 this is not Green GB week; we will be part of Green GB 24/7, 365 days of the year.”
He also highlighted outstanding examples of the LEP’s strong track record supporting environmentally friendly activities. They include:
• nearly £23.5 million in sustainable transport in our cities and towns, including Whitehill & Bordon, Basingstoke, Camberley and Guildford in projects such as cycle paths, train station improvements, wi-fi on buses.
• the launch of just over £2 million of European funding for low carbon activities.
• a £1.5m investment in the Energy for Life project at Marwell Wildlife. This innovation is about efficient waste management and generating low carbon energy, or, as Mr Axam put it, much more memorably, “the animal poo chewer!”
The event, which attracted 70 businesses, academics and other clean growth experts, was held as part of the Government’s first Green GB Week.
Enterprise M3 Chief Executive Kathy Slack chaired a breakout forum on ‘Regional Funding’. She urged eligible businesses to put themselves forward for funding, and said: “We want to start talking with all organisations and businesses, including universities, corporates, SMEs and entrepreneurs, driving clean growth in the Enterprise M3 area. Linking up ideas around the key areas of clean growth, digital and knowledge-based industries is the way forward, and it’s an opportunity to drive down costs.”
Guest speaker, Industrial Strategy Minister, Lord Henley, praised Enterprise M3 LEP’s investment in the zoo’s Energy for Life project.
He said: “Funding provided by the Government and taxpayer and delivered locally to boost local needs is very important. It represents the sort of vision we can all be proud of, that political vision that invests in green technology.”
He added: “The global appetite for low carbon technology is immense. We want to serve the UK’s position as a world leader to test clean technology and build on the UK’s clean growth story. We don’t have to choose between clean technology and growing the economy.”
The event was hosted by Dr James Cretney, Chief Executive of Marwell Wildlife and Enterprise M3 Board member. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, Sir Christopher Snowden, Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, Chair of the Clean Carbon Research Group at the University, and Dr Tim Woodfine, Director of Conservation at Marwell Wildlife, were among other speakers.
Dr Woodfine welcomed the commitment to clean growth technology. He said: “Our Energy for Life centre will tap into our zoo animal base for heat and in the coming year we expect to surpass carbon neutrality. However, it’s been a challenge to find businesses that supplied the technology.”
For enquiries about the “The Enterprise M3 Clean Growth Enterprise Fund.” contact Jennie Pell here