Businesses to benefit from new energy programme

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Five councils came together last week to launch a major programme aimed at helping firms in the North East region cut energy costs, reduce waste and boost performance.

The North East Resource Efficiency Programme (NEREP) will assist 40 small and medium sized businesses to implement efficiency measures across their operations and identify opportunities to adopt cost saving ‘clean and green’ approaches.

The programme is open to applications from firms in the Antrim, Ballymena, Larne, Moyle, or Newtownabbey council areas and is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund, and the five councils.

NEREP will be delivered by three of Northern Ireland’s heavyweight renewable and sustainability consultancies the InnoTech Centre, B9 Solutions and Fathom Energy and Environment Ltd.

Dr John Harrison, Programme Manager at the InnoTech Centre, said: “The high cost of energy is a concern for all businesses, but the impact on small and medium sized firms is arguably greater. Reducing these costs often brings other improvements to operations and additional benefits of lower waste and carbon emissions. Each business in this programme will receive a resource efficiency audit that gives a holistic overview of operational performance and identifies where new approaches can bring improvements.”

Moira Loughran, Invest NI’s Eastern Regional Manager said: “Invest NI’s support for local economic development projects like North East Resource Efficiency Programme is part of our commitment to working with and supporting local councils right across Northern Ireland. The programme will help to support the business base in the North East area, providing practical advice and guidance on resource efficiency, leading to improves business competitive advantage.”

Councillor Maureen Morrow, Mayor of Larne, said: “It makes good business sense to get the most from resources and reduce or eliminate waste. We are delighted to support this business development initiative; its ambitious targets will help position local businesses to achieve sustained growth. I also thank our co-funders, the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme, Invest NI and the councils for their assistance in bringing this Programme to fruition.”

For more information, contact InnoTech Centre, South West College, Burn Road, Cookstown, on 028 822 55223.

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