Green grants scheme for A11 corridor businesses passes �1m milestone

A project to boost business along the A11 corridor has passed a significant milestone with more than �1m being invested in green initiatives.

The REV (Rural Enterprise Valley) Active initiative was formed two years ago to provide grants to small and medium sized companies to slash energy costs and save money.

Officials from the scheme, which is coordinated by Breckland Council, gathered to celebrate the project passing the �1m private sector investment mark.

Officers behind REV Active said that 300 businesses along the A11 corridor between Thetford and Norwich and further afield have received a free environmental review and been offered �132,000 in grants.

Simon Best, project manager added that the audits had identified �2.7m of savings and helped create 28 jobs and safeguarded 44 jobs. He added that in a couple of cases, the assistance of REV Active had prevented one or two firms from going under.

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'We are two years into a three year project and it is all about business efficiency and doing more for less and the scale of opportunity is quite exciting,' he said.

Businesspeople gathered at Mr D's Diner off the A11 near Attleborough - one of the businesses that received a grant to install waterless urinals and a water harvesting system - to celebrate the �1m milestone.

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The �3.5m project provides free on-site energy audits to local businesses, and backs this with comprehensive reports outlining potential cost-saving measures. Funding is available to companies through the project to part match their own investment in implementing the report's recommendations.

Firms have received funding for projects such as wind turbine and solar panels to money to install energy efficient lighting and heating systems.

The project is funded and supported by the European Regional Development Fund and was developed by Breckland Council in partnership with Norfolk County Council and Shaping Norfolk's Future to support regeneration and economic growth predominantly along the A11 corridor.

Mark Kiddle-Morris, Breckland Council executive member for assets and strategic development added: 'This is a tremendous achievement and demonstrates the confidence of local businesses to invest in the future. The project is tailored to meet the needs of small and medium sized companies, with an emphasis on low-cost or no-cost opportunities to reduce costs and carbon emissions. Implementing these energy saving measures reduces overheads and gives our local businesses a crucial competitive edge.'

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