LONDON: Up to 600 small and medium firms are expected to sign-up to a new umbrella body set up to enable small builders to access the full range of opportunities through the Green Deal.

The Green Deal Conduit is a consortium of small to medium businesses backed by a trade bodies. It will enable SMEs to offer Green Deal finance packages to households. Under the Green Deal, only approved providers are able to offer Green Deal finance.

Russell Smith, managing director of Parity Projects who has been leading the development of the conduit, said that 300 of the 600 firms which had expressed interest had said they would immediately sign-up to the organisation when it launches next April.

"Our business plan is to generate £75m of work a year and thatÕs very modest. That's based on having 5000 members at the end of year five," he said.

So far been little promotion of the project and he expects the pool of potential members to significantly increase in the build up to April.

Among the ten organisations supporting the conduit's development are the National Federation of Builders, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Federation of Small Businesses.