Enterprise Minister launches multi-million pound programme to increase business competitiveness

Wed, 22/08/2012 - 11:37 -- Editor

ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster has launched a new £12million programme aimed at increasing the overall competitiveness of local businesses.

Invest Northern Ireland’s new Sustainable Productivity Programme includes a range of activities designed to help the business community achieve operational savings in water, energy and materials use and also identify new opportunities within the high growth renewable energy market.

Arlene Foster said: “Being competitive in business can be achieved in many ways. This includes ensuring that your business’s use of energy water and materials is managed as efficiently as possible. At the same time many companies are clearly demonstrating that increasing environmental performance can also deliver real competitive advantage.

“This new package of measures from Invest NI aligns with the Programme for Government’s aim to grow the green economy. I would encourage Northern Ireland firms to take advantage of the advice and financial support that is on offer through capital grants and interest free loans to implement projects that can help them increase their productivity and save money.”

The four strands of Invest NI’s Sustainable Productivity Programme include

An Energy Efficiency Loan Fund: Interest free loans to businesses of between £3,000 and £400,000 for installation of energy efficient equipment

A Capital Grant scheme: Grants of up to £50,000 for installation of materials and water cost saving equipment

Industrial Symbiosis Services: Helps identify commercial opportunities for the exchange of commodities including waste materials.

Direct Project Management Support: Project management support for resource efficiency and promotion of renewable energy supply chain opportunities

Further information on how to avail of support through the programme can be obtained from: Nigel McClelland, Sustainable Development Manager – 028 9069 8830 or nigel.mcclelland@investni.com.