SEDGEMOOR NEWS: Council offers grants to small businesses affected by Hinkley Point C construction traffic
SEDGEMOOR businesses affected by an increase in construction traffic travelling to and from the site of Hinkley Point C are being offered the chance to apply for grants aimed at helping them respond to any challenges caused.
The fund, run by Sedgemoor District Council, will be a competitive process where businesses will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis and will have to meet a range of criteria to have a chance of receiving any funding.
No company will be able to claim more than £5,000 and none will be eligible that has already benefitted from the other schemes being run by the council either using money put aside under the planning obligations attached to the project or its own funds.
Among the criteria successful companies will need to meet are that they employ fewer than 200 people, that they are based in the district and that their trade, operation or workforce has been affected by an increase in HPC traffic using the designated route for Heavy Goods Vehicles - see map on webpage - https://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/article/2733/HGV-Affected-Businesses-Fund .
Possible uses for the money, designed to respond to the impacts of additional traffic, include staff travel initiatives, logistics development, investing in new processes or equipment, research, diversification, exporting and marketing. The grant cannot be used to solely supplement a loss of income.
In addition, they will need to show how they add value to the district’s economy by creating jobs, training opportunities and use of local suppliers and how their activities align with Sedgemoor’s Economic Development Strategy.
Sedgemoor District Council’s spokesman for infrastructure, Cllr Peter Downing, said: “We were concerned that a number of businesses might have found trading more difficult since the increase in lorry movements along the HGV routes.
“We decided to offer support in the form of these grants using money from the HPC planning agreements and hope that it does make a difference for some.”
For further details of the HGV Affected Businesses’ Fund please visit: https://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/article/2733/HGV-Affected-Businesses-Fund .