Fund title: Heart of the South West LEP: changes to EU funding for low carbon

Focus of fund/fund aims:

For projects supporting the shift to a low carbon economy in Heart of South West

Application deadline:

Open until 1 June 2018 with review points at 31 October 2017 & 31 January 2018

Fund description:

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) call for projects in the Heart of the South West which support the shift to a low carbon economy has been updated. The changes have been introduced in order to maximise greenhouse gas reductions and build greater flexibility into the ERDF low carbon priority (Priority Axis 4).

Previous and potential applicants under the low carbon priority are encouraged to review these changes as previously ineligible activity may now attract funding.

The changes have been reflected in the priority axis 4 guidance and are as follows:

Investment Priority 4a: promoting the production and distribution of energy derived from renewable sources
The requirement to benchmark low carbon strategies against 2013 data for local authorities has been removed.

Investment Priority 4b: Promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy use in enterprises
The scope for reporting estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions for SMEs has been extended beyond direct energy savings. For example, GHG savings associated with water use, embodied energy in materials, waste and transport etc. can now be included.

Investment Priority 4c: Supporting energy efficiency, smart energy management and renewable energy use in public infrastructure, including in public buildings and in the housing sector
The inclusion of standard retrofit technologies can be an eligible part of a project which incorporates either innovation or a whole place approach to the retrofit of domestic properties.

Investment Priority 4e: promoting low carbon strategies for all types of territories, in particular for urban areas
The requirement to benchmark a low carbon strategy(s) against 2011 data for local authorities has been removed. Green and Blue Infrastructure can be a significant part of a whole place solution to support an approach to urban cooling.

Contracted projects will need to submit a project change request to DCLG if they wish to incorporate any of these changes into their activity. Projects currently in development can include these changes as part of their application.

There is an allocation of £2.5million for Devon, Plymouth and Torbay under the low carbon call. The call specification has been updated to reflect the changes and remains open to applications until 1 June 2018.

Further information:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/england-2014-to-2020-european-structural-and-investment-funds