August 7 2019 @ 8:30 by Steven Hugill
A print and design firm has become the first company to receive a grant from The Business Energy Saving Team to help cut fuel bills.
JMF Group Ltd was awarded £7765 to buy and install new equipment to make energy efficiency changes.
The company, based in Swalwell, Gateshead, used the funding to help purchase an air-to-heat pump, a low-carbon air source capable of providing four times as much energy compared to a standard electrical heater.
The project, delivered by council’s across Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland, aims to achieve a local reduction of 1000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions.
It has been made possible with £670,000 from England’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme for 2014-2020.
Up to 250 small and medium-sized businesses across the five council’s catchment areas are also eligible for a free energy efficiency audit to help identify ways to save energy in day-to-day operations.
Michael Foggin, chairman of JFM Group Ltd, said: “I would like to thank Newcastle City Council for helping us through the grant procedure.
“The process was made simple and hassle free and staff were always on hand to assist with any problems or extra needs.
“This heating system has allowed us to move one step closer in reducing our carbon footprint and becoming a zero emissions company.”
Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and investment at Newcastle City Council, added: “It is extremely positive to see local businesses benefiting from the services this great project offers.
“Rising energy bills are one of the biggest spends for businesses and this project helps those businesses to cut energy costs and save money while making a valuable contribution to reducing harmful carbon emissions.
“I encourage all eligible businesses to take advantage of the advice and funding being offered by the five local authorities and use this opportunity to make positive changes.”