Envirolink Northwest has been awarded £750,000 by the North West Development Agency to increase the uptake of biomass energy systems by the region's industries.
The programme will target energy intensive industries such as chemical, textiles, food and drink and paper manufacturing to encourage them to use locally sourced biomass as fuel for heating.
The project, which will run until 2011, is being co-ordinated by senior sector development manager, Nigel Blandford, who joins on secondment from the Mersey Forest.
The first companies to benefit from the project will be those that have already sought an initial feasibility study and are seeking to install a biomass energy system.
Assistance will be available to companies to undertake work to remove pre-development risk. This will include technology appraisals, detailed costings, engineering drawings, emissions modelling and environmental assessments up to the stage where planning permission is submitted.