Tamworth-based Shire Leasing lands UK’s first financial assistance scheme for clean air

Monday, 23rd November 2020

  • The Clean Air Zone will become active in Birmingham on June 1, 2021.
  • Shire Leasing was founded in 1990 and is now one of the largest independent B2B funders in the UK.

A Tamworth company has been appointed to deliver the UK’s first financial assistance scheme for clean air for Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The financial assistance scheme, supported by the Government’s Clean Air Fund, will provide direct financial aid, in the form of grants and/or interest-free finance, to local businesses in Bath who may otherwise be adversely affected by the introduction of Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will come into effect on March 15, 2021.

Bath will be the first charging CAZ outside of London to launch, followed by Birmingham on June 1, 2021.

Shire Leasing will not only support eligible businesses with interest-free finance to acquire compliant vehicles, but it has also been instrumental in delivering the framework for the financial assistance scheme, which is now available to other UK councils setting up a charging CAZ.

Julie Henehan, corporate development director at Shire Leasing, said:

“We’re thrilled to be supporting Bath & North East Somerset Council on this pioneering finance initiative.

“A cleaner, healthier environment benefits both people and the economy, and we’re delighted to be able to deploy our leasing solutions as an enabler for 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.”

Vehicles that will qualify for an upgrade under the financial assistance scheme include Euro 1 to 5 diesel and Euro 1-3 petrol vehicles, including LGVs, vans and HGVs, as well as buses, coaches and taxis that regularly enter the city centre. Private cars and motorbikes will not be charged and cannot be upgraded through the scheme unless they are taxis or private hire vehicles.

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 in. These authorities were directed to take measures to reduce levels of nitrogen oxide and are being provided with Government financial support to do so.

Julie Henehan, corporate development director at Shire Leasing

Julie Henehan, corporate development director at Shire Leasing.

The Government’s Clean Air Fund, an initiative announced in 2018, has provided funding for local authorities to reduce roadside emissions and to help tackle the climate and ecological emergency. A wide variety of environmental initiatives within local authorities have been supported by the fund, including the implementation of cycle lanes and schemes such as this.

Tamworth-based Shire Leasing has further supported this pioneering environmental initiative with a fully digitised application process to support eligible businesses to access financial support.

A dedicated web page provides help and guidance and the ability to submit an 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.