Examples of using ERDF-funding

City authorities and other urban actors can decide to apply for external funding sources to increase the available budget of their circular economy programme. Circular Glasgow and Advance London are examples of programmes that successfully secured ERDF-funding.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce – Circular Glasgow

The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce external link icon  was the driving force for the city’s circular transformation. Through a circularity scan, the city identified key target sectors and material flows. The manufacturing and the food sectors were considered to have the greatest circular potential. As a result, circular strategies were developed and implemented for bakeries, the meat and fish industry, and the beer and spirits sector.

The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce initiated Circular Glasgow external link icon to provide support services and funding sources for businesses willing to become circular. This circular programme was set-up in collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland, Glasgow City Council, and Circle Economy. The programme benefits from support from the ERDF, which contributed GBP 30.7 million, while an additional GBP 42.7 million  was provided by the Scottish Government. The programme gave rise to the Circular Economy Business Support Service which is designed to help companies through support services and workshops, as well as provide information on funding sources.

Moreover, Circular Glasgow set-up the Circular Economy Investment Fund external link icon, which is administered by Zero Waste Scotland external link icon. The Scottish Government and the ERDF provide the capital, 18 million pounds (EUR 21 million) for this fund. Funding is available from GBP 50,000  to GBP 1 million to support SMEs to:

  • Explore markets for new circular economy products.
  • Commercialise innovative business models for new circular economy products and services.
  • Develop innovative technologies, products and services to support a circular economy.

London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) – Advance London

The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) external link icon is a partnership of the Mayor of London and the London boroughs aimed at facilitating the transition to a low-carbon circular economy. The following five main focus areas were identified in the circular economy road map for the city: textile, plastics, built environment, electrics, and food. Moreover, the road map resulted in one hundred practical commitments, including ERDF funded projects.

Advance London external link icon is a programme designed to support the capital’s small and medium-sized enterprises in their journey towards circularity. The circular business support programme was funded by LWARB and the ERDF, each contributing GBP 0.7 million to the programme. Since 2017, the programme has supported SMEs by organizing workshops and giving tailored expert advice on three main topics:

  • Validating the circularity of businesses.
  • (Re-)designing circular business models.
  • Amplifying the impact of projects.

To date, Advance London has supported over 160 businesses, with projects including, among others, creating zero-waste packaging, clothes sharing and office relocations. Moreover, the programme has stimulated 18 SMEs to launch new green products or services.

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