Business and Other Briefings

CBI:  The manufacturing sector is showing signs of bouncing back from the fragile conditions seen at the end of 2011 and start of 2012, and sentiment has improved for the first time in a year, the CBI said recently.  Orders & output volumes showed modest increases in the 3 months to April, and momentum is expected to build further in the coming 3 months.

Press release

CO:  The Government’s long term plan to reform the way the public sector does business ramped up last week as new & updated data on £70bn of potential future government contracts was published by Cabinet ministers Francis Maude and Vince Cable.  

Publishing data on future contract needs (over the next 5 years) allows government & industry to work together to spot any skills & investment gaps so they can act to safeguard competitiveness & growth.

Press release & links

DECC:  DECC has announced that it has selected London-based ICE Futures Europe as its preferred supplier to conduct auctions of Phase III and aviation EU ETS allowances on behalf of the UK Government.  

Subject to successful completion of the European Commission notification and listing process the auctioning of the UK's phase III and aviation auctions allowances will start in November 2012
Press release & links

DECC:  Detail of support to help SMEs come up with the low carbon ideas of the future was announced recently by Edward Davey.  The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund will have a budget of up to £35m over the next 3 years and will provide financial support for SMEs to develop & demonstrate their ideas.   Details of the application process will be available by the summer

DECC will also shortly launch a £3m competition, in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board to assess the performance of advanced heat storage technologies suitable for integration with domestic heating systems.

The aim of this scheme, which is part of DECC’s Buildings Innovation Programme, is to assess the viability & benefits of novel compact heat storage materials which can be installed in homes to even out peak electricity demand from low carbon heat technologies such as heat pumps. 

A new low carbon funding landscape navigator has gone live, helping providers of and applicants for low carbon funding link up much more easily.  Users can search for the latest funding opportunities in the low carbon area and get help in finding the right partners to build collaborations for specific calls. It will be particularly valuable to smaller technology companies who struggle to keep up to speed with the myriad of support mechanisms in the .

Press release & links

DECC:  Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has announced the allocation of up to £60m to support the development of Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) technology in emerging markets. 

The Carbon Capture, Use & Storage (CCUS) Action Group recommended that $200m is allocated internationally to accelerate the deployment of CCS in the near term, (the £60m is the UK's contribution towards this).

Press release & links ~ Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) Action Group

BIS:  The next stage of the Government’s new £10m ‘Start-up Loans’ for young people pilot scheme has been announced.  The initiative aims to provide budding entrepreneurs with support and a small amount of capital to help them get started as well as access to training & business mentors.

The Government is now inviting organisations & consortiums who can offer the right level of support to deliver the programme to bring forward their proposals.  Expressions of interest are open until 12pm on Wednesday 9 May 2012.

Press release & links

HMRC:  Revenue & Customs Brief 11/12

This Brief announces a consultation on updating road fuel scale charges and inviting historic claims in certain circumstances.

BIS:  A new online toolkit has been launched, which provides first-time employers with a step-by-step guide through their obligations when taking on a member of staff – See ‘In the News’ section for more information.

Business Companion launches new guidance on delivery charges for businesses