A Bristol business has benefitted from £6000 of financial support in the first grant and subsidised finance agreement administered by Shire Leasing PLC through Bristol’s Clean Air Zone Financial Assistance Scheme. The scheme provides direct financial support in the form of a grant, interest-subsidised finance, or a combination of the two to help people and businesses avoid paying a daily charge of up to £100 per day.
Shire Leasing PLC are an independent funder appointed by Bristol City Council to deliver on the scheme and financially support businesses to invest in lower emission vehicles ahead of the upcoming Clean Air Zone. Julie Henehan, Corporate Development Director of Shire Leasing commented, “We’re thrilled to bring our experience to support Bristol businesses in making greener and affordable improvements.
“Being from Bristol myself, I’m delighted that the City is one of the first in the UK to offer financial support to ease the transition to greener vehicles. As a tried and tested funder in this space, we look forward to supporting many more businesses in and around Bristol upgrade through our simple processes with support from our knowledgeable and friendly team.”
Shire Leasing’s services on the Scheme are to support businesses, for which Bristol City Council has £32m in government funding to upgrade HGVs, LGVs, taxis, and private hire vehicles to cleaner, compliant vehicles. Through Shire’s dedicated Bristol Clean Air Zone webpage, eligible businesses can submit an online finance application for a Grant and/or subsidised interest finance option, with credit decisions returned within eight working hours.
The appointment to the Bristol Scheme bolsters Shire Leasing’s ‘Driving Clean Air’ programme, which already supports SMEs upgrade vehicles through other similar schemes across the UK. In 2020, Shire Leasing worked closely with Bath & North East Somerset Council to develop the first Clean Air Zone Financial Assistance Scheme, which formed a framework for other Local Authorities to adopt in their cities. Since financing the very first vehicle on the Bath scheme in January 2021, Shire Leasing played a key role in enabling fleet compliance throughout the city, providing funding for over 40% of all vehicles replaced through the Scheme.
Shire Leasing has also lent its expertise to the Clean Air Greater Manchester Financial Support Scheme, through which it has supported local businesses to upgrade their vehicles, as well as currently engaging with other council’s on similar upcoming plans.
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Shire Leasing to support businesses through our Clean Air Zone financial support scheme. We have always sought to deliver Bristol’s Clean Air Zone in a way that protects those who need it the most. Bristol has secured £42 million of to help people prepare for the CAZ, the most in the country, and part of this large package of support will help Bristol businesses upgrade to cleaner vehicles, while helping us reduce dangerous air pollution and deliver cleaner air for Bristol.
“As part of the financial support process, businesses can get invaluable guidance and direction from Shire in applying for grants, seeking the best vehicles to upgrade to or your part exchange options. To find out more about available financial support and begin the application process, visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/cleanairzone”.
With funds available on a first-come-first-serve basis, interested businesses are urged to submit a finance application as soon as possible. If you’ve applied to the Financial Assistance Scheme and your current vehicle doesn’t meet the zone’s emissions standards, you may be provided with a temporary exemption from the Clean Air Zone charge. To qualify for this exemption, you must have made an application for financial support before 28 November 2022.