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£76 million windfall for Scotland’s low carbon economy

Scottish scheme to receive backing from 2014-20 European Structural Funds.

A new £76 million scheme to boost jobs and economic growth in Scotland’s low carbon sector was unveiled recently.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown revealed that the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) will provide tailored support for established and start-up infrastructure projects across the private, public and community sectors. 

It aims to stimulate commercial interest and investment and maximise Scotland’s vast potential in the low carbon sector.

The £76 million scheme is receiving £33 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant funding under the new 2014-20 European Structural Funds (ESF) programme. The remainder is match funding from partners. It will be jointly managed by the Scottish Government and public sector partners including Scottish Futures Trust and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of Zero Waste Scotland, will provide technical expertise.

Three levels of support will be offered to low carbon projects - Catalyst support for start-up projects,Development support for more advanced projects and Demonstrator support for a projects already using commercially proven technology.

The Cabinet Secretary announced the ambitious package, cementing the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering sustainable economic growth, at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), whose Low Carbon Innovation and Smart Accelerator projects received funding from the ERDF as part of the ESF 2007-13. Flagship Smart Accelerator projects include Tay Eco Valley which is creating a sustainable transport hub and eco-park on the River Tay.

Mr Brown said recently: 

“The Scottish Government is committed to a value for money approach to growing Scotland’s low carbon economy, and the establishment of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme is a significant step in this effort.

“The estimated market value of sales in Scotland’s low carbon and environmental goods and services sector in 2011/12 was £10.1 billion, with around 4200 companies employing 78,000 people.

“This is forecast to grow by 30 per cent to reach a value of £13.2 billion by 2016/17 and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme will ensure that the low carbon sector delivers significant jobs and economic growth for Scotland.

“The ESF 2007-13 programmes supported more than 800 projects, summarised in an e-book launched today.”

Director of ECCI, Andy Kerr said: 

“Over the past four years ECCI’s team engaged with over 1000 organisations to create new low carbon products and services and millions of pounds of turnover for the Scottish economy and help transform the low carbon innovation landscape.

“Scotland has huge advantages for leading the low carbon economy: it has both the ‘know-how’ to support energy transformation, and the capacity for joined-up approaches between public and private enterprises. The Smart Accelerator is evidence of just this.”

Since December 2010, ECCI has supported around 150 companies to develop low carbon products and services with the aim of generating £17 million for the Scottish economy.

Notes To Editors

The sustainable growth theme under ESF is worth £150 million over the next seven years covering four strategic interventions by the Scottish Government – LCITP, sustainable Transport, Green Infrastructure and a Resource Efficient and Circular Economy.

The ESF programme will invest more than 1.9 billion (euros) of European, Scottish Government and partner agency funding in projects across Scotland. Further information about some of the projects completed across Scotland under the 2007-13 ESF programme, can be found in a new ebook available for download from the Scottish Government’s European Structural Funds website.

ECCI’s Smart Accelerator is an 18-month, £1.2 million project that aims to accelerate the development of major smart city and sustainable island low carbon ‘lighthouse’ projects in Scotland. Examples included Shawfair, a low carbon new town on the outskirts of Edinburgh and Tay Eco Valley, a sustainable transport hub and eco-park on the River Tay in Perth.

A large-scale urban regeneration project in Edinburgh and Midlothian, Shawfair will revitalise the southeast wedge of the city, delivering 4,000 new homes, business space, public amenities and landscaped environment around a new town centre. Shawfair aims to deliver efficient and intelligent provision of utilities by identifying innovative, low carbon infrastructure to provide cost-effective heating and power solutions for homes and businesses while minimising environmental impact in the long term.

At Tay Eco Valley, Perth & Kinross Council is developing a zero emission transport hub and working to install a heat pump in the river in order to provide low-cost, renewable heat and energy to 1,700 homes, primary and secondary schools, other public buildings and local businesses. It also seeks to develop a Zero Emission Network (ZEN) to support the local deployment of clean vehicles and encourage local economic growth. The Tay Eco Valley seeks to shape future best practice in resource efficiency and the use of smart technologies.


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