The Solent region is set to benefit from an investment boost of over £1 million to decarbonise industries across the region, following a successful bid for national funding announced this week (22 January 2024).
Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan, visited the Solent region to announce the winning projects, which includes The Solent Cluster, from the Local Industrial Decarbonisation Plan competition, supporting manufacturers to develop plans for a low-carbon future.
As part of the Government’s £6 million funding for projects across the UK, The Solent Cluster collaboration is in line for up to £757,601, which means that, along with matched contributions from The Solent Cluster members, will result in a total of £1,032,540 will be earmarked for the development of a comprehensive and collaborative plan to decarbonise the Solent region.
Lord Callanan said: “Reducing emissions from industry in every corner of the UK will be essential for us to reach net zero.
“That’s why we are making over £190m available to support businesses, big and small, in making the switch to cleaner, cheaper energy.
“I look forward to seeing The Solent Cluster’s plans to cut its carbon footprint, create green jobs and grow the local economy.”
Anne-Marie Mountifield, chair of The Solent Cluster, said: “The success of this funding bid demonstrates how The Solent Cluster has brought together a collaboration of innovative and diverse members with a shared ambition which will benefit our region for many years to come. We have the potential to affect real change in energy production and consumption which will, in turn, secure existing livelihoods and create new green jobs, support energy resilience and affordability, and ensure the UK is at the forefront of the emerging low-carbon economy.”
The competition was run by government in partnership with Innovate UK (IUK). In the Solent, the funding is earmarked for a joint project with industry and academia to plan access to low-carbon hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage, at the same time as measuring wider benefits to the local region by the creation of additional jobs, investment and economic growth. Working with industry and academia, the project will evaluate public perception on decarbonisation, identify barriers that need to be overcome and opportunities on which to expand to successfully decarbonise the Solent region, making a significant contribution to the overall decarbonisation of the UK.
The Government also announced plans to open a new phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund later this month with a further £185 million, which will help companies transform their operations to run on cleaner, more secure energy – backing measures such as replacing inefficient equipment, installing electric furnaces and switching to hydrogen.
The Solent Cluster is a collaboration of industry leaders, global organisations, universities and local government working together to create a low carbon future that will benefit the local economy, the region and the UK.