Shire Leasing has been appointed by Bath & North East Somerset Council to deliver the UK’s first financial assistance scheme to support businesses affected by the introduction of clean air zones to invest in lower emission vehicles.
The finance scheme has been launched to support Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will charge most higher emission vehicles – except private cars and motorbikes – to drive in the city centre from 15 March next year. It is the first charging clean air zone outside of London.
The scheme will provide direct financial support in the form of grants and/or interest free financing to accelerate investment in low emission vehicles and to help businesses avoid paying a daily charge to drive in Bath’s city centre.
The initiative is funded by the Government’s Clean Air Fund and demonstrates continued commitment, despite other challenges, to deliver a cleaner, healthier environment that will benefit the health of the community and the economy.
Shire Leasing has worked closely with Bath & North East Somerset Council to develop this pioneering financing initiative which supports local businesses to upgrade chargeable vehicles regularly driving in the city centre that do not comply with Bath’s new emission standards. This affects pre euro 6 diesel and pre euro 4 petrol vehicles, including taxis, private hire vehicles, light goods vehicles, vans, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles.
The tender process was led by Julie Henehan, corporate development director at Shire Leasing. She said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting Bath & North East Somerset Council on this pioneering finance initiative. A cleaner, healthier environment benefits people and the economy, and we’re delighted to be able to deploy our leasing solutions to help Bath businesses to achieve sustainable improvements in air quality and long-term environmental gains.
“I was born in the West Country and I’ve spent many happy days in Bath, so I’m delighted that the City has led this initiative and the local community will be the first in the UK to benefit from this innovation. Bath is a stunning city with a fascinating history and beautiful architecture. This initiative will deliver sustainable gains for the community and will ensure it continues to be a lovely place to live, work, do business and spend leisure time.
“If there is one positive thing that came out of lock-down, it’s that it gave many of us a glimpse of what our local environment would be like with less pollution. But times are tough for many businesses who want to do the right thing but don’t necessarily have the resources to do so. This initiative is designed to help those business to make a positive step to restoring harmony between the economy and our environment.”
Shire Leasing’s commitment to the environment continues with a fully digitised process to support eligible customers to access financial support. A dedicated web page provides help and guidance and the ability to submit their 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 or by post for those without internet access.