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Funding available to local businesses ahead of low emission zone becoming operational – Aberdeen Business News

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FUNDING to help small businesses and sole traders convert vehicles which are not compliant with Aberdeen’s new low emission zone is being made available by Transport Scotland.

The LEZ Retrofit Fund provides eligible businesses operating in one of the four Scottish low emission zones with financial support to retrofit their vehicles with technology that meets emissions standards.

In line with Scottish Government policy, Aberdeen’s LEZ is being introduced to reduce the serious health risks by improving air quality in the city centre.

Grants are available to cover up to 70% of the cost of a solution, which must comply with the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS), subject to a number of conditions.

Business owners whose vehicles do not currently comply with the LEZ standards are being urged to apply, with demand for the funding expected to be extremely high.

Aberdeen’s LEZ comes into force on Saturday, June 1, with drivers of vehicles which are not compliant facing fines if they enter the LEZ area after that date – although it is estimated only around 14% of vehicles in the local area do not comply with the LEZ.

This follows the introduction of low emission zones in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Applicants must operate within a 20km radius of the LEZ and employ nine or fewer full-time employees, with a turnover of less than £632,000.  

They must not have received funding already and must have a CVRAS-approved retrofit solution that meets the minimum proposed standards of the LEZs. 

Funding of up to £5,000 is available per light commercial vehicle and wheelchair accessible taxi for the installation of retrofit exhaust after-treatment systems. 

Up to £10,000 is available per wheelchair accessible taxi for re-powering technology, with up to £16,000 per heavy goods vehicle or refuse collection vehicle.

The Let’s Clear the Air campaign has been developed to provide information for everyone navigating their way around the city centre once the zone is enforced from June 1.

The information campaign has been developed in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Getabout to clearly communicate what and where the LEZ is, why it is being introduced and what motorists should do ahead of enforcement.

A spokesperson for Let’s Clear the Air said: “With only a few weeks to go until the LEZ becomes operational, we would remind motorists to double check if their vehicle is compliant and take advantage of the LEZ Retrofit Fund if that vehicle is used for business purposes.

“The purpose of the LEZ is to help make the city centre a cleaner, greener, healthier and more attractive place in which to live, work and play, while still being accessible to all and with clear health benefits for residents, visitors and future generations.”

Concentrated around Union Street and the surrounding streets, the zone measures slightly under 1km2, representing just 0.5% of the total city area.

To check eligibility and request an application form, visit https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/grants-and-loans/low-emission-zone-retrofit-fund/

For more information and to find out more about the Let’s Clear the Air campaign, visit www.getabout.org.uk/lez

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