£76 million windfall for Scotland’s low carbon economy launched at ECCI

20 March 2015

A new £76 million scheme to boost jobs and economic growth in Scotland’s low carbon sector was unveiled today.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown revealed that the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) will provide tailored support for established and start-up infrastructure projects across the private, public and community sectors.

It aims to stimulate commercial interest and investment and maximise Scotland’s vast potential in the low carbon sector.

The £76 million scheme is receiving £33 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant funding under the new 2014-20 European Structural Funds (ESF) programme. The remainder is match funding from partners. It will be jointly managed by the Scottish Government and public sector partners including Scottish Futures Trust and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of Zero Waste Scotland, will provide technical expertise.

Three levels of support will be offered to low carbon projects - Catalyst support for start-up projects, Development support for more advanced projects and Demonstrator support for a projects already using commercially proven technology.

The Cabinet Secretary announced the ambitious package, cementing the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering sustainable economic growth, at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), whose Low Carbon Innovation and Smart Accelerator projects received funding from the ERDF as part of the ESF 2007-13. Flagship Smart Accelerator projects include Tay Eco Valley which is creating a sustainable transport hub and eco-park on the River Tay.

Mr Brown said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to a value for money approach to growing Scotland’s low carbon economy, and the establishment of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme is a significant step in this effort.

£10.1 billion, with around 4200 companies employing 78,000 people - Scotland’s low carbon goods and services sector

“The estimated market value of sales in Scotland’s low carbon and environmental goods and services sector in 2011/12 was £10.1 billion, with around 4200 companies employing 78,000 people.

“This is forecast to grow by 30 per cent to reach a value of £13.2 billion by 2016/17 and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme will ensure that the low carbon sector delivers significant jobs and economic growth for Scotland.

“The ESF 2007-13 programmes supported more than 800 projects, summarised in an e-book launched today.”

Director of ECCI, Andy Kerr said:

“Over the past four years ECCI’s team engaged with over 1000 organisations to create new low carbon products and services and millions of pounds of turnover for the Scottish economy and help transform the low carbon innovation landscape.

“Scotland has huge advantages for leading the low carbon economy: it has both the ‘know-how’ to support energy transformation, and the capacity for joined-up approaches between public and private enterprises. The Smart Accelerator is evidence of just this.”

Since December 2010, ECCI has supported around 150 companies to develop low carbon products and services with the aim of generating £17 million for the Scottish economy.