Grant scheme will give green projects financial support

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BUSINESSES which are going green can tap into a new loans scheme to give their environmentally-friendly projects a boost.

Green group Future Solent has joined forces with Future Solent, Local First, Eastleigh Borough Council and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce to launch a ‘Green Growth Business Loans Scheme’ for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Businesses planning environmentally-friendly projects can apply for a loan from a £950,000 fund.

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 for an initial discussion.’

Local First is a not-for-profit group which promotes community banks.

The group’s chairman, Professor Richard Werner, said the scheme meant businesses that wanted to launch green projects had an alternative to High Street banks.

Prof Werner 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.’

Mr Hall said loans were open to borrowers who could match-fund the loan, demonstrate that their project would create jobs, and who were operating in the green economy.

He said the scheme was open to business in fields such as environmental technology, waste and recycling.

Businesses involved in renewable and low-carbon energy production, sustainable development and sustainable design, engineering and construction were also invited to apply for loans.

Businesses who are interested in applying can call 07770 605664 or e-mail