A £2.65m fund to support businesses in Leeds to become more resource efficient and reduce waste costs has been launched.
The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s Resource Efficiency Fund will provide specialist advice and financial support to local SMEs, also covering other issues such as energy and water usage.
Eligible businesses will get a free audit of their current operations to assess where they can make efficiency savings.
Companies are able to apply for financial support to invest in efficiency measures, with 50% capital grant funding of up to £10,000 available from the LEP.
The LEP successfully bid for funding from the European Regional Development Fund, which has been matched with funding from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal.
John Bradley, managing director of manufacturing firm Crompton Controls & Mouldings, has worked with the LEP to develop the fund.
He said: “At Crompton, we have taken every opportunity to reduce waste, and actively searched out projects that not only reduce our carbon footprint and help the environment, but also support the finances of the business by reducing its costs and improving its productivity.
“Waste reducing measures have not only contributed to our green credentials but added significantly to our profitability, allowing us to invest further into the businesses and expand.”
Chair of the LEP’s green economy panel, Paul Hamer, said: “Having engaged small businesses across the region on the types of support they need to help them grow and improve operations, we know that saving money and saving resources is high on the agenda, especially for the more resource-intensive businesses such as those in the manufacturing sector.”
Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “This kind of business support has not been available for many years in the region and is still not widely available nationally through LEPs.
“Leeds City Region’s support to businesses will help them with rising resource costs as well as free up time and money to invest in other areas of activity such as exploring opportunities in new markets or investment in skills and training.”