The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and Advantage West Midlands (AWM) will provide funding and business development services to West Midlands recycling firms as part of the WRAP AWM programme of worth GBP5 million. The WRAP AWM programme will offer fully funded business development services and small-scale capital grants of up to GBP187,000 to companies investing in new or expanded waste processing capacity.

Businesses will be able to apply for large scale capital grants, worth up to 30% of a project’s capital costs.

WRAP will run the programme from its first-ever satellite office in England – at the £6 million Innovation Centre at the new Longbridge Technology Park.

Steve Creed, director of business growth at WRAP, said: “The new programme is a considerable expansion of the services already offered by WRAP to recycling businesses in the West Midlands.

“At a time when there is a real need for businesses to put in place strategies to secure and consolidate their operations, these grants and accompanying business development support will give recycling firms an important resource.

“Increasing the capacity and scope of waste sector services in the region will provide businesses with more cost effective routes for disposing of their commercial and industrial waste.”

Mark Pearce, corporate director for economic regeneration at AWM, said: “The West Midlands economy is one of reinvention and ingenuity and the WRAP AWM programme is an excellent example of how the region is responding to changing economic circumstances and investing in new opportunities.

“Escalating waste costs pose a serious economic risk to businesses and local authorities but this new initiative will help to increase the productivity of existing recycling businesses and help attract new investment into the region.

“The West Midlands produced the country’s first low carbon economic strategy and the WRAP AWM initiative shows how we are coming up with innovative solutions for tomorrow to make the low carbon era become a reality.”

Richard Burden, MP for Northfield, said: “It’s great to see the WRAP organisation in Longbridge. Their welcome arrival at the Innovation Centre underlines what the new Longbridge is all about – it’ an area which offers so many opportunities for local business.

“By reducing waste to landfill you are reducing costs and it’s better for the environment at the same time. That’s a real virtuous circle and I would urge local recycling businesses to contact WRAP to ensure they don’t waste this opportunity for support and investment.”