‘Green Growth’ Loan Scheme launched for businesses in Solent and the Isle of Wight30th April 2014
Future Solent, together with Local First Community Interest Company, Eastleigh Borough Council and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, has launched a ‘Green Growth Business Loans Scheme’ for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) based in the Solent and Isle of Wight region. The £950,000 fund is open to borrowers who can match-fund the loan, demonstrate that their project will create jobs, and who are either operating in the green economy or are funding a project in the “green economy”.
The scheme will help businesses working in fields such as:
• environmental technologies and services (such as energy efficiency / retrofit);
• waste and recycling;
• renewable and low carbon energy production;
• sustainable development;
• marine and maritime;
• sustainable design, engineering and construction
or involved in profitable projects with demonstrable environmental benefits. Applicants are invited to make the case that their project is part of the green economy and eligible for a loan.
Scheme manager Richard Hall said:
“These loans are intended to help established businesses start projects that create jobs in Hampshire. We aim to make the process of borrowing the money as straightforward as possible. Interested businesses are welcome to contact me (07770 605664/ Richard.Hall@hampshirechamber.co.uk) for an initial discussion.”
The scheme is part of a wider programme of support for Hampshire SMEs run by Future Solent called the ‘Green Growth Programme’, supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
With the loan scheme, Local First CIC is beginning engagement with local SMEs in preparation for the establishment of the Hampshire Community Bank.
Professor Richard A. Werner, Chair of Local First and Director of the University of Southampton Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development said:
“The UK banking sector has for too long been dominated by large banks that are not really interested in the local economy or local green projects. With the Green Growth Loan Scheme we are taking a first step towards offering local SMEs alternative funding.”