At grants panel last week we smashed the £5M approved mark (to a total of £5.23 million) out of the £6M total grants pot so we’re well on track to approved the full amount of ERDF funding within our safe keeping by the end of the year. The issue we’re working with now is that there are still significant numbers of the 737 SMEs within the SELEP region granted funds who are yet to claim back their money.
This means that rather than refuse to accept new applications, we’re looking to over-approve projects and recycle funds from SMEs who have had ample time and opportunity to progress their projects and claim their money back from us. We’re giving plenty of notice before we do this, don’t worry, but I’m sure you’ll agree that as the message spreads about the myriad of ways that we can help our firms, it is only fair to give as many of them as possible an opportunity to benefit from the funding (whilst it lasts!) The message is clear…time is running out for those who may have plans to invest in their business/premises over the coming weeks and months.
We’re happy to report that Kent & Medway are getting the lion’s share of the pot with 309 SMEs securing £2.5M between them. You’ll see the breakdown below but note that numbers of businesses in the pipeline are swelling, especially given the work we’re doing to raise awareness on not just firms looking at greening their fleet but also care homes, sports and social clubs and organisations in the trades.
It is also worth pointing out that we can now go up to £20K per business where projects are set to make a considerable economic/environmental difference or of large capital value (see attached flyer).
The last time we updated everyone in June, we tasked you and your social media teams to get out an update relating to an electric vehicle event and it so happens that we’re partnering with InCharge to deliver another, more tailored day central to the patch at Cyclopark in Gravesend on the 18th October as part of Green Great Britain Week (see invite attached). This will give an opportunity for anyone looking to dip the toe into the world of electric/hybrid can see (and sit in/drive) what options are available…and how LoCASE can help lower the finance barrier to investment.
We have been working with your licensing teams to get the offering in front of taxi and cab firms (many are owner/operators in their own right) through attending forums and working with our local dealers and manufacturers of eligible models (of which there are many!) I also attach an up to date FAQ for this element of the programme so you’re more clued up to deal with any queries. We’re keen for firms to use the scheme to its fullest, with the plug in grant and our grant on top making electric mopeds (for example) as affordable as they will ever be for take away delivery as well as couriers and logistics firms. Anyone with a fleet, even if it is one or two pool cars can approach us for support and more often than not we’ll be able to get them a very nice figure to make the project more viable. If that means support for a charging point (on top of the Workplace Charge Scheme) then we can look to this too.
Lastly, before we go, in time honoured tradition, see below the crude skyline of current performance of each area broken down by registered borough/district of the grants approved to date. We’re looking to use this event to get Gravesham closer to the rest of the patch if at all possible!