A new £4.3 million pound low carbon project has been launched in the West Midlands set to help over 120 local building businesses learn about and take forward business opportunities using innovative technologies.
Over 345 pre-war and Victorian houses will be refurbished to demonstrate the benefits of installing environmental technologies, and put to the test by local residents who will live and benefit from the energy efficient housing driving up demand and creating further opportunities for local businesses.
The Aim High project is supported by over £2.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and match funded by Birmingham City Council and the private sector through the British Gas Community Energy Saving Programme.
This project builds upon Birmingham City Council’s investment and commitment to the £100 million Birmingham Energy Savers programme, and will also help businesses get involved in the Government’s ‘Green Deal’ scheme launched last year.
Communities Minister Baroness Hanham CBE said:
The Green Deal, which is set to revolutionise the energy efficiency of British properties, will only work if we are able to get local businesses ready to take forward new technologies within the property market. Therefore projects such as this are crucial.
It’s important that we are delivering projects that benefit local businesses and also those that make a difference to the local community and its residents. The energy efficient nature of this project will deliver many benefits for local people such as cheaper fuel bills which is a real benefit in the current climate. I am pleased to be able to announce specific financial support from the European Regional Development Fund to take this forward within the West Midlands and help local businesses grow and diversify, assist local people and improve the local economy”.
Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Lines, said:
I am delighted that this funding will help to build on the excellent work already undertaken by Birmingham City Council through our Decent Homes and Birmingham Energy Savers programmes. The project will help residents through improved energy efficiency, and also be of great benefit to local businesses, supporting the local economy and the creation of jobs
Businesses will also be able to access support and guidance explaining how to enter the market and form consortiums with like-minded businesses to successfully bid for contracts within this area.
Birmingham is already leading the way in improving the energy efficiency of homes, according to recent government figures. The local authority installed the largest number of insulation measures over the last year (April 2010 to march 2011) through the carbon emissions reduction target and the AIM High project will further enhance the city’s efforts to improve energy efficiency.
For further information about this project and the future events calendar please go to www.resco.org.uk/aim-high/ (external link) and register your interest.
Notes to editors
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013. This is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development.
The West Midlands European Regional Development Fund Programme has been allocated 400 million euros to invest in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
In the West Midlands the priority areas and themes are:
Innovation and Research & Development - Increasing investment in research and development through helping businesses take forward new innovation, sharing of knowledge and developing and demonstrating new technology
Enterprise Development - Increasing business performance through supporting high growth businesses, improving resource efficiency, providing access to finance and developing a strong entrepreneurial culture
Sustainable Urban Development - Improving the performance of key urban areas through regenerating local areas, encouraging investment and new businesses, creating job opportunities and helping communities most in need
Inter-Regional Activity - Working with European partners to learn and improve, share and apply best practice and solve problems.
Keep up to date with the Department by following us on Twitter (external link).
Visit our newsroom contacts page for media enquiry contact details.