A NEW service supporting environmental businesses has helped more than 500 clients within a year of launching.

The Green Growth Platform at the University of Brighton sees a team of industry experts, business advisors and academics supporting the green sector in Sussex.

Its 500 clients in the county have secured more than £565,000 in total grant funding with the project's support, helping them expand and do more research, the university said yesterday (Monday).

Now the project, led by Zoe Osmond, has been recognised for its work by industry experts, having been highly commended in the enterprise and employability category at the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges’ Green Gown Awards.

The university was also highly commended for its Waste House in Grand Parade, Europe's first permanent public building made almost entirely from material thrown away or not wanted.

And it won the same honours for its ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ project, under which the university’s recycling levels increased from 34 per cent in Jan-May 2014, to 48 per cent over the same period in 2015.

Professor Chris Pole, the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “These are all extremely worthwhile projects which demonstrate the university’s commitment to helping tackle climate change.”