£6.5m to support Welsh circular economy post-Covid

The second round of the Welsh Government’s £6.5-million Circular Economy Fund has been launched to support a green recovery post-coronavirus and address the climate emergency.

Released last Thursday (11 June), the second round of funding allocates £3.2 million to local authorities and publicly-funded bodies, with £3.5 million being made available to businesses to increase their use of recycled materials in manufactured products, components or packaging and reuse, refurbishment and remanufacturing activities.

In April 2019, Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government with responsibility for waste and recycling, launched the Welsh Circular Economy Fund to boost use of recycled materials and assist Wales in reaching its ambitious recycling target of 70 per cent by 2025.

Responding to the challenges organisations are facing during the coronavirus outbreak, the Waste and Resources Action Programme Cymru (WRAP Cymru), which administers the scheme, widened the scope of the fund in May in a bid for a more resource efficient and economically resilient future following the pandemic.

To support organisations that prepare materials for reuse, refurbishment and re-manufacturing activities in Wales, WRAP Cymru lowered the minimum small-scale grant available to £6,000 from £25,000 previously, while the maximum large-scale grant remains £750,000.

Commenting on the second round of funding, Blythyn said: “Wales is on a journey towards becoming a circular economy. We already recycle more than anywhere else in the UK and we are within touching distance of being the world’s top recycling nation.

“The Covid-19 experience has brought an increasing awareness of the importance of resources and the resilience of our supply chains. In addition, our world class recycling services provided vital resilience during the lockdown.

“By supporting public bodies and businesses to take action to support the transition to a circular, low carbon economy this fund is an important part of a green recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and to our continued commitment to addressing the climate emergency.”

Applications for the fund are now open and will close on 27 July.

You can read more about the fund on WRAP Cymru’s website.