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Welcome to the latest edition of the SVBS newsletter, a sustainability special.

This week, we're focusing on our sustainability procurement opportunities for businesses, the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) grant scheme and the One Planet Living Festival, happening this Saturday. Full details can be found below.

As always, if you'd like to suggest content for the SVBS newsletter, please get in touch with us.

- South and Vale's Economic Development team
To help organisations progress their net zero journey, we have two procurement opportunities currently open for applications. These projects will be funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

  1. Decarbonisation plans for businesses

    We are offering funding to organisations that can help businesses based within our districts to create decarbonisation plans that enable them to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. This may include providing tools to measure emissions, or supporting businesses with the production of energy audits or wider sustainability plans.

  2. Decarbonisation business support programme

    We are seeking an organisation to develop and deliver a pilot programme of decarbonisation-focused business support that provides advice and guidance for businesses, helping them to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The programme could include workshops, guides, access to resources, and bespoke advice and mentoring.

Important information

The successful applicants will be expected to work with businesses from each district to help them to develop and implement decarbonisation plans or strategies. Businesses should be provided with a report outlining actions they can take to progress their net zero journey, including how they could achieve these.

Applicants can apply for up to £24,999 for each project.
Please note that your project must start in August 2024 and finish by 31 March 2025.

The deadline for applications is 10 July 2024. If you would like to submit a proposal for these projects, please get in touch with us and we will send you the relevant document to complete.
The second round of the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) is now open for applications from South and Vale based organisations.

REPF offers up to £75,000 of capital funding for projects that help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.

If you are applying for up to £10,000, we can fund 100% of your project. If you are applying for over £10,000, your project will need to have match funding.

The application window closes at midday on Monday 1 July.

Projects could include, but are not limited to:
  • Net zero infrastructure (e.g. EV chargers and solar panels)
  • diversification of farm businesses (e.g. Shepherd Huts)
  • creation and expansion of rural leisure and tourism businesses
  • purchase of equipment
  • creation of multi-functional rural business hubs
  • business infrastructure (e.g. broadband or EV charging points)
  • establishment of rural community businesses
  • equipment to support the promotion of local food and drink products
  • community energy schemes (e.g. community solar power projects)
  • kitchens in community hubs
  • resilience infrastructure and nature-based solutions (e.g. creation of drainage ponds).
Please read our Grants Policy, Standard Conditions and Capital Expenditure documents on our South and Vale websites for full information on the REPF grant scheme before applying.
Using their share of the UKSPF funding, One Planet Abingdon are hosting a free One Planet Living Festival, a colourful event to bring the local community together.

Saturday 15 June
10am - 4pm
Abingdon Market Place

The event will focus on the environment and educate visitors about the small changes they can make to improve their carbon footprints.

There will be stalls with eco and social enterprise wares, youth stalls, music, poetry, dance, performances, culture, food and more.

There will also be workshops for families, bike checks, a repair café and an art exhibition.

Find out more on the One Planet Abingdon website.

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