£6m to help North West builders go greener

Construction companies in the North West of England can tap into free resources to help them improve their environmental performance - and that of the buildings they are working on.

Over the next three years, funding worth £6m will be used to assist and advise small construction companies operating in the region.

A partnership of northern universities, led by the University of Salford's Centre for Construction Innovation, has secured the cash from a variety of sources.

Salford, Liverpool and Central Lancashire Universities teamed up with BRE and Urban Vision to stump up £1.5m which allowed them to secure match funding from the Northwest Regional Development Agency, which in turn allowed them to lever in a further £3m of European cash.

SMEs in the construction sector in the North West will be able to obtain free, independent, market-leading advice in how to use less carbon, produce less waste and create more jobs.

Salford's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, said: "These grants will help small businesses beat the recession, as well as provide longer term benefits to the industry.

"There is a real need for this type of initiative at the moment, but it will form part of a longer term strategy that will enable companies to succeed not just this year, but well into the future."

Businesses can visit the government body, Business Link, as their first of port of call.

It will then direct them to the relevant members of the consortium for specialist advice such as how to build walls which conserve heat better, use less concrete within a building, waste fewer resources and use materials made from other recycled products.

Sam Bond



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