The GROW:OffshoreWind service, has announced the opening of two fast-track funding calls worth a combined £4.5m, which will help manufacturers in the South West grasp a significant share of the opportunities presented by the UK’s offshore wind market.
Almost 600 companies nationally have been assisted by GROW:OffshoreWind in the last year and there is the potential to support many more. The deadline for Expression of Interest applications to be submitted is 15 October 2014 and successful applicants will be required to have substantively completed their projects by 30 April 2015.
The UK is the global leader in offshore wind, with as much capacity already installed as the rest of the world combined. It is estimated that the UK manufacturing opportunity could be worth up to £15bn. The GROW:OffshoreWind programme is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and has been designed to make sure English companies, including those in the South West, are in a position to take advantage.
The first fast-track funding call is valued at up to £2.5m and has been directed to support SME companies with their capital investment plans. The call is supported by programme partner RenewableUK.
Through partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a second fast-track fund totalling £2m has been made available by GROW:OffshoreWind to help SMEs and Large Enterprises accelerate their investment in innovation projects.
Both calls are seeking applications from manufacturers who can utilise this funding over the next six months. Applications will be assessed on their ability to create jobs and develop market presence in the offshore wind supply chain.
“We are excited about the potential of both calls to help us connect with English companies and fast track their investment plans,” commented John Phillipart, GROW:OffshoreWind Advisor in the South West. “By streamlining the approvals process, the calls will enable companies to commence their investment plans by early November.”
Up to £500k of grant funding is available for successful applicants, which can be used to support a wide variety of project costs.
Full details on both calls and application forms can be found on the GROW:OffshoreWind website – www.growoffshorewind.com.
Pictured above: John Phillipart, GROW:OffshoreWind Advisor in the South West