Pioneering Green project hailed a success

PRESS RELEASE                           

For immediate issue: 9th March 2014

A local project aiming to get businesses to go ‘greener’ has been hailed as a success for the Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon programme.

The ‘Green Business Exemplar’ competition was launched in December 2011 with a second round launched in December 2012. Run by the Leader 4 programme and funded by Defra and the European Union, the scheme offered companies a grant of up to £10,000 to go greener whether in the workplace or on the production line. Seven local businesses were successful in securing a grant.

Local Action Group member and Chair of the decision making panel for the programme, Tryphena Huntingford said: “This competition has really shown the business benefits of thinking positively and creatively about green issues.”

The aim of the project was to enable companies to find innovative ways of bringing best practices or new technologies into their businesses that would substantially improve their environmental sustainability as well as helping growth and development.

The successful applicants came up with a wide variety of schemes all with very distinctive aims ranging from providing composting toilets for rural play areas, purchasing an ultrasonic sewing / welding machine to eliminate the need for toxic industrial glues and installing a water regeneration storage system to recycle water in a cooling system. The winners were:

  • Albion Plants – Roborough
  • Clearwater Brewery - Bideford
  • Green Deal Mobile App – Ilfracombe
  • Higher Hacknell Farm- Umberleigh
  • Reed Chillcheater – Braunton
  • TK Play - Torrington
  • Wheatland Farm - Winkleigh

The scheme was funded by Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon, which had a £3.628 million grant to support projects to improve the quality of life in rural areas. The programme ran from 2008 to the end of 2013.

Senior Projects Officer for Leader 4, Lisa Cetinkaya said: "This project has worked really well – businesses have introduced new environmental measures and also increased their bottom line as a result. We want to share how they’ve undertaken these steps and are encouraging other local businesses to take a look at the new web portal www.greenbusinessexemplars.co.uk to find out more – some simple, practical steps are easy to implement and have been proven to make a real difference.”

Braunton-based manufacturers Reed Chillcheater specialise in the production of surface-water sports clothing. The company were awarded a £6168 Green Exemplar grant earlier this year.

Director Christopher Reed said: “We were thrilled when we were informed that we’d been given an award. We were using heavily toxic glues to make our products fully waterproof. We used our grant to buy a new ultrasonic welding / sewing machine.

“Everything is better for us now. It’s as though the new system has relaunched us as a company – we’re more efficient, more productive and more competitive as a result. Our margins have improved and we’ve had to take on another person. It’s made us feel much healthier too!”

The Green Business Exemplar programme was just one scheme run under the Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon programme, which was managed by North Devon+.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For more information regarding this press release contact: Emma Parker Reynolds at Coast on 07944 360631 or the Coast main office on 01752 847135.

A case study is also attached on Reed Chillcheater, with an accompanying picture. Alternative case studies are also available as required – please contact Coast to discuss your requirements.

About North Devon+
North Devon+ is the chief economic delivery agency for North Devon and Torridge. We aim to deliver positive change, creating a more productive economy and more prosperous communities. Our role is to ensure our area thrives as a place in which to live, learn, work and visit. Our primary focus is on regeneration, tourism and business development. We work with Torridge District Council, North Devon Council, Devon County Council and the private sector to deliver projects and initiatives that encourage and support business growth, improve quality of life, and address social and economic inequalities. North Devon+ is a member of the National Enterprise Network. To find out more visit www.northdevonplus.co.uk

About Leader4 Torridge and North Devon:

Leader 4 was a rural development programme with £3.628 million grant to provide project funding and development support to improve the economy, environment and quality of life in rural areas.

Support was available for innovative, sustainable and high quality projects that met the aim and

objectives. The programme area included all of rural Torridge and North Devon districts except for

the six central wards that make up Barnstaple Town (Pilton, Yeo Valley, Forches & Whiddon Valley,

Newport & Central Town).

The programme was launched in December 2008 and completed at the end of 2013.

This was the Local Action part of the Rural Development Programme for England, based on Leader

principles. It was funded by European grant from the Common Agricultural Policy and by Defra.

The programme was community led. This means it was led by a partnership of local people from the

business, community, voluntary and public sectors in the Torridge and North Devon area, known as

the Local Action Group. They were the decision making group.

The Local Action Group was supported by an Accountable Body which has the experience and

competence to administer European and public money. This was North Devon+, who hosted and

employed the programme staff, as well as providing legal, administrative and financial support and

advice.

THE PROGRAMME AIM

"An enlivened and enriched rural environment in transition to a low carbon economy, driven by

entrepreneurial growth and a ‘can-do' culture"

Objectives and Activities

1. To raise and support growth aspirations of rural micro businesses

1.1 To stimulate growth in micro businesses

1.2 To support business development projects

1.3 To increase workforce skills levels

2. To improve access to services and employment in deprived rural communities

2.1 To improve community owned facilities for local service delivery

2.2 To pilot innovative approaches to rural service delivery

2.3 To develop community owned or managed workspaces

3. To develop the assets and resources of the high quality environment as an economic driver

3.1 To develop sustainable physical activities and access to the coast and countryside

3.2 To develop sustainable heritage/cultural activities and products

3.3 To develop skills, assets and resources to create employment in remote rural areas

4. To improve the environmental performance of communities and businesses to create a low

carbon economy

4.1 To increase sustainability of communities and businesses

4.2 To invest in community renewables

5. To build capacity, leadership and cooperation for sustainable community led regeneration

5.1 To support co-operation activity with othe LAGs

RDPE

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) runs from 2007 to 2013. It is the 2nd

pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy and aims to support the creation of genuinely sustainable farming,

forestry and food sectors, whilst also bringing wider benefits for the economy, the environment and

rural communities. It provides the major financial vehicle for protecting and enhancing the

environment and securing a range of public benefits for society.

The RDPE has three priorities for rural development:-

Improving competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry sector

Improving the environment and the countryside

Improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of economic activity

The RDPE priority for improving the environment and the countryside is being delivered nationally

by the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Grant Scheme and Natural England’s Environmental

Stewardship Scheme

Defra will deliver priorities 1 and 3 with a budget of £156.8 million over the seven years. Defra is also

responsible for ensuring that five per cent of the RDPE funding is spent on enabling community

involvement in rural development. The delivery partners in the South West aim to ensure that

investment in each of the three priorities will help support investment in the others.

Part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural Areas

Notes to Editors

For more information regarding this press release contact: Emma Parker Reynolds at Coast on 07944 360631 or the Coast main office on 01752 847135.

Tags:

About Us

North Devon+ provides a primary focus for regeneration, business support and tourism across Northern Devon. As the economic delivery agency for the area, we work with Torridge District Council, North Devon Council, Devon County Council and the private sector to deliver projects and initiatives that encourage and support business growth, improve quality of life, and address social and economic inequalities.