Shire Leasing PLC has been appointed by Bath & North East Somerset Council to deliver the UK’s first financial assistance scheme to support businesses affected by the introduction of clean air zones to invest in lower emission vehicles.
The finance scheme has been launched to support Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will charge most higher emission vehicles – except private cars and motorbikes – to drive in the city centre from 15 March next year. It is the first charging clean air zone outside of London.
The scheme will provide direct financial support in the form of grants and/or interest free financing to accelerate investment in low emission vehicles and to help businesses avoid paying a daily charge for driving in Bath’s city centre.
The initiative is funded by the Government’s Clean Air Fund and demonstrates continued commitment, despite other challenges, to deliver a cleaner, healthier environment that will benefit the health of the community and the economy.
In June last year the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. In support of its target to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, the Government identified 28 local authorities where vehicle emissions were adversely impacting air quality and potentially harming the health of people living and working in their cities. These authorities were directed to take measures to reduce levels of nitrogen oxide and are receiving financial support from the Government to help.
Shire Leasing has worked closely with Bath & North East Somerset Council to develop this pioneering financing initiative which supports local businesses to upgrade chargeable vehicles regularly driving in the city centre that do not comply with Bath’s new emission standards. This includes pre euro 6 diesel and pre euro 4 petrol vehicles.
Businesses can benefit from a grant towards the acquisition of a compliant vehicle and/or interest free financing so that they can spread the cost of acquiring the vehicles with no interest or fees.
Shire Leasing’s commitment to the environment continues with a fully digitised process to support eligible customers to access financial support. A dedicated web page provides help and guidance and the ability to submit their application for both grant and/or interest free financing. Customers are updated as their application progresses with documentation issued to successful applicants for e-signature.
The rigorous tender process was led by Corporate Development Director Julie Henehan, just over a year on from Shire Leasing announcing the launch of their new Southern-based expansion which Henehan oversees. She said:
“We’re thrilled to be supporting Bath & North East Somerset Council on this pioneering finance initiative. A cleaner, healthier environment benefits people and the economy, and we’re delighted to be able to deploy our leasing solutions to help Bath businesses to achieve sustainable improvements in air quality and long-term environmental gains. Our commitment to supporting environmental improvements and sustainability is a key goal for us. We’re proud to be involved in this innovative initiative which we believe to be the first of its kind and excited at the prospect of working with further authorities around the UK in the future to make a difference in tackling emissions.”
2020 also sees Shire Leasing celebrating its 30th year of trading. Reflecting on the year, Mark Picken, CEO of Shire Leasing commented, “Our environment is constantly evolving, both literally and in the business sense. In our 30th year we have continued to help thousands of customers to grow, many thousands more to survive and now we are proud to be playing our part in helping businesses to improve their environment and to deliver cleaner air quality for the benefit of their communities.”
If your business will be impacted by the Bath Clean Air Zone, you can find out more about the financial assistance available from Shire Leasing by clicking here.