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The UK's first sustainable suburb moves a step closer with £150,000 EU grant 07.06.10

The London Borough of Sutton has won a £150,000 grant to help make businesses in Hackbridge greener and more cost effective.

Picture shows bottle being used to grow plant

Sutton Council will work with environmental charity BioRegional to give local businesses the skills they need to reduce their impact on the environment and make the most of the growing opportunities for greener businesses.

The funding, provided by the EU through the London Development Agency's European Regional Development Fund, will be used to reduce the environmental impact of 45 businesses in the area.

Businesses which take part will undergo a free audit and advice session which will help them to reduce energy and water bills, cut waste, and join together to buy services more efficiently. A forum will also be set up to help businesses network and share ideas.

Cllr Colin Hall, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: "We have an ambitious vision to make Hackbridge the UK's most sustainable place to live and work.

"This funding grant marks an important step in this project. Greener businesses save money and help the environment."

Phillipa Ward, Manager of the Greening Businesses in Hackbridge Project at BioRegional, said, "Times are tough, so it's a great time for businesses to learn about the benefits of being green. Cutting waste and saving energy can help local businesses run more efficiently – and we're excited about working with them.'

The 'Hackbridge Sustainable Suburb Programme' aims to create the UK's first environmentally sustainable suburb.

Over 1,500 zero carbon homes will be built and existing houses will be retro fitted to minimise their carbon footprint. Sustainable transport in the area will be prioritised with more cycle roads, better bus and train links and the provision of electric vehicle plug in sites. The One Planet Food project will also enable residents to buy affordable, low carbon, locally grown food.

Hackbridge is also home to BedZed, the UK's only zero carbon housing community.

Last updated: Thursday, 08 July 2010

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