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Environment Protection: West Midlands

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assistance the EU has provided to the West Midlands for the development of green (a) technologies and (b) jobs in the last two years. (325240)

I have been asked to reply.

The following projects have been approved to date under Priority Axis 1 of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2007-13 programme which supports Innovation and Research and Development. The programme is administered in the West Midlands by Advantage West Midlands.

Energy Efficiency—£4.94 million

Low Carbon Vehicle Technology—£9.50 million (This project is expected to safeguard 2,150 jobs)

A number of general innovation/R and D support projects (including Knowledge Transfer Partnerships) have also been supported some of which include a focus on green technologies and jobs. Funding of over £15 million has been approved to date.

Under Priority Axis 2 of the 2007-13 ERDF programme which focuses on stimulating enterprise development the following projects have been approved to date:

Competitiveness through Collaboration—£184,315 for an Environmental Technologies Supply Chain Network for the rural west of the region.

West Midlands Industrial Symbiosis Network—£1,054,302 to develop links between companies so that under-used resources such as energy, water and/or materials from one are recovered, reprocessed and then re-used by others. The project is expected to create 40 jobs and safeguard 82.

Rethink Energy—£1,005,335 funding to support Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to undertake feasibility studies and install renewable energy technologies. The project is expected to create an additional 12 jobs.

Enviro Supply chain network—£283,306 to encourage manufacturing SMEs to work together to improve environmental processes. The project is expected to create 15 jobs.

Further funding has also been provided for other projects which support business development or innovation which will include support to those involved in green technologies.

Under the EU-funded Rural Development Programme for England (RPDE) programme the following projects which support green technologies and jobs have been approved so far in the 2007-13 programming period:

Certainly Wood—£403,000 approved for capital equipment support to a wood fuel business.

Freshfields Fruit LLP—£265,000 approved for capital equipment support to a strawberry growing business for water harvesting and recycling.

West Midlands Woodfuel Project—£827,000 approved for revenue support to West Midlands forestry wood fuel businesses.

It is not possible to report on jobs created or safeguarded by these projects at this stage.

There are also a number of RDPE initiatives supporting farm diversification and rural enterprises which may support green technologies and jobs.

Further support will be provided during the later stages of the programmes.

No specific indicators were set for green jobs or technologies in the West Midlands 2000-06 Objective 2 Programme. A total of 2,769 businesses were, however, assisted with environmental management as part of the Programme’s Environmental Sustainability theme.