Shire Leasing PLC has been announced as an appointed financier on Greater Manchester’s (GM) Clean Air Financial Support Scheme (FSS).
Eligible applicants will be able to use their funding award directly with Shire Leasing or via accredited vehicle dealers to arrange finance to help upgrade non-compliant vehicles to lower emission vehicles ahead of the charging Clean Air Zone being introduced in Spring 2022.
Greater Manchester has secured more than £120m government funding to help local businesses upgrade vehicles, including support for light goods vehicles (LGV), heavy goods vehicles (HGV), coaches, hackney carriages, private hire vehicles (PHV) and minibuses.
Funding will be distributed through the Financial Support Scheme which will offer eligible owners of a non-compliant vehicle the option of either a lump sum grant, subsidised finance or a combination of the two to support upgrading to a compliant vehicle and ultimately avoid paying daily charges.
Drivers can answer a series of simple questions at www.cleanairgm.com/prepare to find out whether they will need to pay a charge to drive in the Zone, if they might be eligible for an exemption or funding support and further vehicle-specific information regarding their options and timescales.
Shire Leasing are a business-to-business funder based in the Midlands that currently provide finance solutions to over 66,000 SMEs across the UK, including over 800 customers based within Greater Manchester.
GM invited tenders from FCA authorised funders to join the panel on its Financial Support Scheme in January 2020. Following a competitive tender process, Shire Leasing were appointed by GM, building on its experience of delivering a similar scheme for Bath and North East Somerset Council. In addition to helping develop Bath’s scheme and the framework, Shire Leasing also financed the scheme’s very first vehicle in January 2020 and has gone on to help hundreds of businesses upgrade to low/no emission vehicles.
The GM-wide Clean Air Zone will launch on 30 May 2022 for buses, HGVs and out of area hackney and private hire vehicles (PHVs) and in June 2023 for light goods vehicles, Greater Manchester registered taxis, PHVs, minibuses and coaches.
Applications for the FSS will open on 30 November 2021 for applications from eligible HGV owners, with applications for other vehicle owners due to open at the end of January 2022. Shire Leasing is already in conversation with vehicle dealers based within Greater Manchester to introduce its proven point of sale processes that will accelerate the administration of payments to dealers and allow applicant customers to complete their vehicle upgrades quickly and efficiently.
Julie Henehan, Corporate Development Director of Shire Leasing, said: “No single person, business or city can tackle air pollution alone. We’re always looking to build relationships and collaborate with those who share the same vision as Shire and the GM Clean Air Plan has created a network that aligns with shared goals, supporting local businesses and improving air quality.
“We’re proud to be appointed on this Financial Support Scheme and look forward to a bright future working alongside GM, our accredited vehicle dealers and Greater Manchester’s local businesses as we all come together to improve air quality, making GM an even better place to live, work and visit.”
More information can be found at www.shireleasing.co.uk/cleanairgm.