£2m in new funding has been made available for marine renewables companies operating in the English county of Cornwall.

It can be deployed under the GBI (R&D) fund which is available to those currently working on concept or prototype development as well as early stage demonstration or deployment of marine renewable devices. The funding could provide critical support to those seeking to deploy at FaB Test or Wave Hub over the next two years.

FaB Test is a non-grid connected nursery test site off the south coast of Cornwall for the testing of components and devices. Wave Hub a grid-connected offshore marine energy test site, some 10 miles from the north coast of Cornwall built for testing full-scale wave energy arrays.

As well as a testing infrastructure, Cornwall can boast world-leading academic research and expertise in marine energy and an extensive supply chain. It is also part of the South West Marine Energy Park which exists to accelerate the commercialisation of marine energy in the region. The GBI (R&D) fund has been created in response to the growing sector demand.

Claire Gibson, Wave Hub general manager, said: "The ability to secure sufficient funding remains a significant issue for the marine energy industry so this investment will be a welcome boost. The eligible activity ranges from feasibility studies right through to support with berthing fees so we hope it will act as a catalyst for device deployments at FaB Test and Wave Hub."

Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership commented: "We know that financial support is critical at this stage of development. This fund will help developers bring forward their devices at a faster pace and prove their commercial viability. At a later stage in development it would be expected that private capital support for full exploitation will be forthcoming. We will be measuring the impact of the fund, and if proven successful, will be looking to create a similar scheme in the next round of European funding to help continue to support this dynamic sector."

Grant funding may be used to support a wide range of costs related to the development and deployment of marine energy technology, including feasibility studies, product design, consenting, offshore surveys, fabrication, installation, berthing fees and operations and maintenance. Operating within the Grant for Business Investment (GBI) scheme, companies are able to apply for up to 45% match funding for this Research and Development activity.

Companies interested in applying to the GBI (R&D) fund should contact Sarah Tooze, DCLG, at Sarah.Tooze@communities.gsi.gov.uk