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23 Jul 2020

Funding bids for a greener, cleaner city

City of Wolverhampton Council is working to protect the environment for future generations by bidding for funding which will benefit both the city and the wider region.

The council has applied for funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for three projects which will encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles, improve local green spaces and improve the heating efficiency of council buildings.

If successful, the bids will see the council receive up to £3.9 million of funding to help support its climate change commitment.

Under the first project, Wolverhampton is taking the lead in seeking funding to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles across the region. On behalf of the four Black Country authorities, City of Wolverhampton Council is applying to the ERDF for £1.6million.

If successful, the money would then be matched by Transport for the West Midlands, along with existing staff time from Black Country authorities and contributions from businesses benefiting from the grants, to create a new Black Country Electric Vehicle and Charging Infrastructure Grant Scheme (EVIGS).

The scheme would provide 100 Electric Vehicle grants to help taxi drivers and small and medium businesses buy electric vehicles as well as providing 100 workplace grants to help businesses with the cost of installing charge points.

The funding would also provide two rapid charging hubs for electric vehicles across the Black Country and help raise public awareness of the benefits of energy efficient transport.

EVIGS aims to produce 1,378 CO2 tonnes of carbon savings over the project term, which runs until 2023, and approximately 500 tonnes of CO2 saving each year going forward.

Other ERDF bids include applying for funding of £1.7 million for the second phase of Black Country Blue Network which aims to improve 126 hectares of green space linked by the local canal and river network.

The network is a partnership project between City of Wolverhampton Council, Walsall Council, Environment Agency, Canal and River Trust and The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.

If successful, the funding would cover work including tree thinning, woodland and wildflower meadow creation, pond improvements, better access and native species planting at Fowlers Park, Ward Street and Pendeford Park as well as other environmental improvements across the Black Country.

A further application for £685,442 is for work under the Wolverhampton Investment Smart Energy (WISE) scheme which will improve the heating efficiency of council buildings and raise public awareness and understanding of climate change initiatives.

Councillor Louise Miles, Cabinet Member for Resources at City of Wolverhampton Council, said:

“These are some very important bids which, if successful, will all support projects that are focussed on making our city and wider region a cleaner and greener place to live.

“The funding will be used to work with colleagues in neighbouring authorities to meet our climate change commitment.

“In addition, the bid for the WISE project will help the council to reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse gases. This will help support our commitment to make the City of Wolverhampton Council carbon-neutral by 2028.”

At its next meeting on July 29 members of the city council’s Cabinet Resources Panel committee are being recommended to approve the council entering into grant funding agreements if the bids are successful.

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