Local enterprise development bodies across Scotland are set to receive an investment boost after the announcement of a targeted funding call from Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change, Environment and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham.
Headlining the second day of the Scottish Resources Conference 2016, Ms Cunningham outlined the ‘circular regions’ funding call from Zero Waste Scotland, which will help enterprise networks to identify and implement innovative circular economy ideas from small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
A circular economy is one that’s sustainable, and as much as possible eliminates waste. It’s an alternative to our current ‘take, make, dispose’ approach and means that products and materials are kept in a high-value state of use for as long as possible.
This regional opportunity is part of an £18 million circular economy investment programme being managed by Zero Waste Scotland using funding from the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland explains:
“This targeted call builds on a pilot initiative last year with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce which completed a ‘circle scan’ of the regional economy to identify potential business growth opportunities, including a collaboration with Jaw Brew, an independent craft brewery and local bakery Aulds to develop a beer made by using waste bread.
The project has proven very successful to date and other cities and areas have expressed an interest in replicating this approach.
Funding is available to local consortiums where the lead partner is classed as a small or medium sized enterprise. Applicants can bid for funding for two separate stages: (1) to identify business opportunities locally and to work to develop those opportunities with local businesses and supporting them through to full implementation.
Iain Gulland added:
“This approach for regional SMEs will accelerate a Circular Economy throughout Scotland by helping businesses be resource efficient and by opening up collaboration opportunities. Our programme will deliver a step change in the scale, range and depth of existing resource efficiency work across all business and social economy sectors in Scotland.”
Grants available under the Circular Economy Investment Fund are for a minimum of £20,000 and a maximum of £1,000,000.
For further information and to apply visit: www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/circular-economy