ENERGY Crops Consultancy has recently won a government award as part of a major funded project to boost UK biomass production.

Established at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ECC is less than two years old and works with local growers in Cumbria to plant, manage and harvest perennial wood crops in a mission to create low-carbon supply chains and provide sustainable and profitable income revenue while improving water quality and biodiversity.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has awarded £4 million of funding for the project development stage of the Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme.

Cumbria-based business, Energy Crops Consultancy, has become one of the 24 innovation projects to receive government this funding to boost UK biomass production.

Supporting the Prime Minister's 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, this funding will support rural economies across the UK, including providing jobs and encouraging investment. • UK Government is funding £4 million to boost UK biomass production • 24 projects will receive government funding of up to £200,000 to increase UK production of biomass that can be used as sources of green energy • Biomass is used for low-carbon renewable energy generation and is a key component in UK's commitment to tackle climate change • Cumbria-based Energy Crops Consultancy has been selected as one of the innovation projects.

ECC) is delighted to be able to announce their successful bid to help local, low-carbon biomass production in the UK increase significantly by creating ideas in partnership with agricultural machinery engineers, manufacturers and a highly specialist team to articulate the opportunity.

One of the founding Directors of ECC, Neil Watkins, responded on news of receiving the funding, “This is fantastic news and great to be one of the winning companies for this tender from The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to evaluate low ground pressure machinery to help in the agronomy of perennial wood crops.”

“It is a great moment for ECC. Our team’s Willow and Poplar perennial wood crops specialists have decades of experience and are pleased to hear that the Climate Change Committee and Government are keen to back innovative companies like ours to reach a more sustainable circular economy.”

Funded by the BEIS Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme, the project will draw on a range on expertise from growers and engineers to academics and consultants. It will involve creating designs for improved planting and harvesting machinery for all different types of land, as well as reports outlining the economic and many environmental benefits of the innovations set out by ECC. As the whole country joins in the race for net zero, ECC reflects on the opportunities emerging from the changing farming systems. With their expertise and specialist equipment for agroforestry as well as planting, managing and harvesting perennial wood crops, ECC’s mission is to create local low-carbon supply chains, increase wildlife corridors, improve water quality and biodiversity whilst providing growers with a sustainable and profitable income revenue.