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Zero carbon hub secures private funding lifeline

A body that provides advice to the housing industry on ‘zero carbon’ construction has secured its financial future after agreeing a funding deal with the private sector

Zero Carbon Hub chairman Paul King told delegates at the group’s annual conference that the deal meant financial security until at least March 2012.

The news comes seven months after housing minister Grant Shapps announced that funding to the government-backed body would be brought to an end by this March. Its grant had already been cut following last autumn’s spending review.

Mr King said: ‘Zero Carbon Hub has consistently demonstrated the power of collaborative working, helping to build an impressive and progressive consensus around the level of energy efficiency, and on-site Carbon Compliance.

‘It is a testament to this success that the Hub has now secured private sector funding until at least March 2012, enabling it to help inform the final definition of Zero Carbon and the means of cost-effective delivery for the house building industry.’

Previous story (AJ 13.06.10)

Government to cut Zero Carbon Hub funding

Housing minister Grant Shapps has made clear his intention to cut funding to a government-backed zero-carbon homes body, Zero Carbon Hub, once the official zero-carbon definition is confirmed

The housing minister issued the warning to Zero Carbon Hub’s board of members just two weeks after announcing his commitment to making all new homes ‘zero carbon’ by 2016.

The hub provides advice to industry on ‘zero carbon’ construction. The government’s long-awaited official definition of the term is expected to be unveiled this summer.

Shortly thereafter would follow the clawing back of a £500,000 Communities and Local Government (CLG) contribution to the public private partnership.

A CLG spokesperson said: ‘[In] an extremely tight fiscal situation, it’s only right that Government takes stock of its funding support to all organisations, to reflect the roles and responsibilities of both itself and industry, and to secure value for money for the public purse.’

John Alker of the UK Green Building Council said: ‘If support for the Zero Carbon Hub in financial terms were to be phased out, I don’t believe it will be a reflection of the government’s commitment to the 2016 zero carbon homes target.’

 

CLG’s statement

The Housing Minister recognises the important role performed by the Zero Carbon Hub in helping to shape the policy and overcome practical obstacles to its delivery.

He believes that the Hub will continue to play a valuable role while the policy is finalised and then, over the years ahead, in preparing industry for its introduction.

However, in an extremely tight fiscal situation, it’s only right that Government takes stock of its funding support to all organisations, to reflect the roles and responsibilities of both itself and industry, and to secure value for money for the public purse.

The Hub is already demonstrating its worth in helping industry to prepare for the policy, and once the policy is finalised, we expect them to step up to the plate to provide its support.

 

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