Green growth funding creates 220 new jobs in the south

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COMPANIES spearheading a £36.5m boost for green business in the south will discuss their successes and challenges at a forthcoming conference.

Around 220 jobs have been created at more than 130 low-carbon firms thanks to investment through Future South, a partnership of businesses leaders, technologists, academics and authorities.

Its annual conference will showcase how recipients of green growth grants, loans and other much-needed funding are moving ahead with expansion plans.

New product development and job opportunities at small and medium-sized enterprises will be a particular focus of the event, which has former business secretary Sir Vince Cable as keynote speaker.

Grant recipients include Eastleigh food packaging specialist KCC. It helps retailers replace petroleum-based plastics and aluminium foil used in ready-meal trays with a 100 per cent compostable alternative.

Kevin Clarke, managing director, said: ‘Green growth funding was pivotal in helping us push through development and production plans.

‘The funding we’ve received is helping with our strategy to create valuable jobs and exports and make a major splash in the marketplace.’

Other funding recipients include Portsmouth’s The Recycled Assets Company, a social enterprise that provides relocation and logistics support.

It helps business clients clear out furniture and equipment and convert confidential waste into energy-efficient, burnable briquettes.

The average salary of the 220 jobs so far created under funding distributed by Future South is £30,000 a year.

The partnership has attracted more than £30m in government and private investment and created Greentech South, the UK’s first ‘environment and energy cluster’, a dedicated EU-recognised network designed to support low-carbon business.

Alongside the annual conference at Winchester Guildhall on Friday, November 4, is an exhibition of green technologies under development or already on the market.

As well as SEaB and The Recycled Assets Company, exhibitors include the Bowman Power Group, which manufactures technology to improve fuel efficiency of diesel generators.

Future South chairman Stewart Dunn said: ‘Our work is all about encouraging a partnership approach to sustainable energy and innovation across the south.

‘We’re thrilled to be welcoming contacts old and new for what we expect will be a fascinating day of networking and exhibitions.’

The memory of David Green, one of the founders of the partnership, is being honoured with the launch of an award in his name.

The winner will be announced at the conference, which is sponsored by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks.

For more go to futuresouth.org or email richard@futuresouth.org.