Mid and East Antrim Borough Council secures £300,000 to drive forward our commitment to Net Zero
Wednesday 31 May 2023
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is delighted to announce that they have been awarded funding of up to £300,000 by Innovate UK KTN.
The allocation over a two-year period will not only provide an additional dedicated Net Zero Innovation and Delivery Manager, but also a full programme of activity to support businesses and expedite Council’s journey towards Net Zero.
The dedicated resource and funding will allow Council to build on recent and ongoing investment in the CleanTech sector and continue to innovate and inform in this area.
The funding has been awarded as part of the prestigious £6 million Fast Followers competitive process, which falls under the umbrella of the Innovate UK Net Zero Living programme, designed to help places and businesses across the UK to accelerate the delivery of the transition to Net Zero.
The Mid and East Antrim Net Zero Business (MEANZ Business) project is one of three successful projects in Northern Ireland, with 21 awards in total across the UK. The Council’s visionary initiative will spearhead an innovative comprehensive programme of engagement, support and dissemination centred around the concept of Net Zero - reaching out and engaging with a range of relevant businesses across the borough.
Valerie Watts, Interim Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said: "This funding will be instrumental in propelling our Net Zero delivery plans forward, optimising our delivery pathways and fostering widespread adoption of innovative products and services.
“Already, Council has invested in a dedicated sustainability team to fulfil our core service functions and address areas where climate change is emerging as a critical concern."
While the MEANZ Business project primarily focuses on supporting local businesses, the future Net Zero Innovation and Delivery Manager will also collaborate closely with other teams within Council to ensure alignment and facilitate the exchange of valuable insights and information.
Mrs Watts added: “Council has already taken bold steps towards a greener future, exemplified by initiatives like the collaborative public-private sector Hydrogen Training Academy, the £15m HyTech NI project in conjunction with Queens University, the CleanTech Collaborative Growth Network funded by Invest NI and the forthcoming £24 million i4C Innovation and Cleantech Centre at the former St Patricks Barracks site.”
Ursula O’Loughlin, Head of Economic Development at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “These endeavours will enable our current and future workforce to acquire the skills necessary to meet the growing demand for sustainability across various industries and sectors.
"That’s why the provision of funding for a dedicated resource is truly transformative. It will expedite our delivery plans and help us eliminate some of the barriers we have faced in making the transition towards a net zero future.
“Council remains steadfast in its commitment to leading the charge in combating climate change. With the generous support of the UK Government, Mid and East Antrim is well-positioned to drive positive change and inspire other communities to follow suit in the pursuit of a sustainable and environmentally responsible future.”