£80m boost for region's green economy

East Anglia's growing low carbon economy received an £80m boost yesterday from Europe.The cash will be dished out through a combination of commissioned projects and open bidding rounds - a move welcomed by organisations and businesses already working in the industry.

East Anglia's growing low carbon economy received an £80m boost yesterday from Europe.

The cash will be dished out through a combination of commissioned projects and open bidding rounds - a move welcomed by organisations and businesses already working in the industry.

It will be managed by the East of England Development Agency (Eeda) over the next seven years.

David Morrall, Eeda's Europe and international director, said: “This £80m funding from the European Regional Development Fund is great news for the region to support and grow the low carbon economy.


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“The programme has been shaped by the region and responds to an agenda of huge economic significance to the East of England. Sir Nicholas Stern's report on the economics of climate change has characterised the current position as the 'greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen' and this unique regional programme represents an important response to this.

“This is one of the fastest growing regions in the UK in terms of the population and economy but we are punching below our weight with low skills levels and an uneven performance in innovation and growth.

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“So we need to work with business and communities to develop and exploit talent and creativity and promote commercial success.”

Among those hoping for a chunk of the money is the UEA-based CRed carbon reduction campaign.

Marcus Armes, spokesman, said: “We will be putting forward ideas. It's extremely good news and we are pleased that the success of projects such as CRed have led to the region being recognised for its excellence in a low carbon economy.”

A detailed prospectus will be published at the end of January at the official launch setting out details of the arrangements for delivering the programme, including dates for bidding rounds and details of the process for commissioning projects, and the application procedures.

Mr Morrall added: “The east of England is in many respects leading the field in the progress it is making to develop the region's prosperity as a low carbon economy. The foundation we are developing through facilities such as Orbis Energy at Lowestoft, as a hub for renewable energy, and the growing cluster of low carbon technology companies in Peterborough - the largest such cluster in the country - all combine to provide an excellent platform for progress and a strong statement of intent in developing a sustainable and vibrant regional economy.”

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