Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Sustainable Travel Grants now available to BTN members in the Bournemouth area

Capital grants are available to support businesses in the Bournemouth area with sustainable travel schemes and smarter working. Businesses must already be a member of the Business Travel Network to qualify.  Grants can be used for infrastructure and facilities projects to support sustainable travel and smarter working…But be quick, the closing date for applications is Friday 24 November 2017!

The Council has a total pot of £20,000 for capital grants and will welcome applications up to £5000, however smaller applications would enable to more businesses to benefit from the capital grant.

Ideas of what funding could be used for: 
  • Purchase and installation of teleconferencing facilities and software to reduce business travel
  • Installation of EV charging points
  • cycle parking facilities
  • lockers, showers and drying facilities for staff who walk/run/cycle to work
  • car parking alterations to create dedicated car share spaces
  • purchase of bikes / electric bikes to set up a pool bike scheme, for business travel
  • Lighting/Security improvements on walking and cycling routes within your property

To qualify for a grant:
  • you must already be a member of the Business Travel Network.
  • your business premises must be located within the Bournemouth Borough Council boundary. 
  • the project should support and encourage staff, customers and visitors to travel sustainably or work smarter
  • your request for a grant should be within the range of £500 up to £5000 (including VAT). 
  • you must agree to help Bournemouth Borough Council and the Business Travel Network carry out a staff travel survey or supply travel to work data for your staff if requested

If you are successful
Grants are paid in arears and as such you will need to be able to fund the project during delivery and then claim the grant back from the Council once the project has been completed.

Therefore you will need to:
  • Have sufficient funds to cover the cost of the project until it is completed and you can claim the grant back
  • Be set up as a Council supplier (if you have not invoiced Bournemouth Borough Council before you will be asked to complete a registration from)
  • Wait for a purchase order from the Council before you can invoice for the grant amount
  • Send an invoice to the Council against the relevant purchase order for the Gross grant amount
  • Provide photographic evidence of the completed scheme and any other reasonable evidence as required
  • All capital work must be completed, and invoices submitted by Friday 2nd of March 2018.
  • Credit Bournemouth Borough Council and the Business Travel Network on any marketing or promotion of the scheme
  • Agree to such press/social media releases that the council uses to promote the grant scheme

Match funding
As a condition of the Bournemouth Sustainable Travel Grant scheme, your organisation should consider offering match funding and a greater weighting will be given to applications that include an element of financial commitment.

However, it is not compulsory to include a match-funding financial commitment. Non-financial match funding could be offered instead in the form of appropriate additional sustainable travel initiatives.  These initiatives should relate to the project in your grant application, however, suitable proposals that do not relate directly to the project will still be considered.

Examples of suitable non- financial match commitments are:
  • Cycle training sessions for your staff
  • Taking part in, and promotion of, a Workplace Travel Challenge
  • Dr. Bike sessions (bike maintenance and repair)
  • Working at home opportunities or flexible working hours, development of a Smarter Working Policy
  • Production of, or update to, your Travel Plan
  • Marketing and promotional activities to raise awareness of sustainable travel and smarter working options
  • Personalised Travel Planning Sessions to support your staff in planning their individual journeys to work
  • Hosting a Local Sustainable Travel Event, such as a ‘bikers’ breakfast’ for staff who cycle to work, or a car share coffee morning for staff to meet car share partners.

Submit your application
Please submit your application by Friday 24th November 2017. Submissions received after this date will not qualify for the grant.

What happens next?
You will receive an acknowledgement email within 2 days of receipt of your application.
Forms will then be assessed based on how the proposed project meets our objectives and how much match funding is proposed.
We will aim to get back to you within one week of the closing date.

All capital work must be completed, and invoices submitted by Friday 2nd of March 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the BTN team.