Businesses in Derby and Derbyshire can now access up to £15,000 to help them reduce their carbon footprint, thanks to a new partnership project launched today (Tuesday 7th February).
Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council, together with the University of Derby, have developed the scheme aimed at helping small and medium business in the area to become more energy efficient. The Carbon Smart project will be offering grants of up to £15,000 and providing support to businesses such as energy audits and energy efficiency advice.
Alongside funding, the Carbon Smart project will reduce the carbon emissions of business activities, products and processes by access to state-of-the-art equipment and cutting edge technical expertise to foster improvement and innovation.
There are around 200 grants available for small and medium businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their premises, equipment or processes. There are a wide range of possibilities for grant funding, including energy efficient machinery, LED lighting or even solar panels. Businesses will need to contribute between 35% and 55% of the total cost, depending on the size of grant being applied for.
Small and medium businesses will be able to access bespoke, fully-funded R&D technical support consultancy from the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering in low carbon production, process and project design, new product development and prototyping.
Derby Business School is helping small and medium businesses that already offer low carbon goods and services to access new markets and the region’s largest supply chains. Support will be based on a needs audit, with workshops addressing; Supply Chain Accreditation; Environmental Reporting and how to pitch ‘Effective Business Cases for Low Carbon Goods and Services’.
Councillor Martin Rawson, Cabinet Member for Communities and City Centre Regeneration says about the launch:
“This new project will help to support businesses to improve their own green credentials in Derby and Derbyshire. It will also provide them with the tools they need to improve their competitiveness by reducing their energy costs not just now, but into the future. This project also supports our commitment to make Derby a great place for small and medium sized businesses. Despite the difficult financial times this is clear evidence of the Council administration’s continued support for the green agenda.”
Derbyshire County Council leader and cabinet member for strategic policy, economic development and budget, Councillor Anne Western said:
“Small and medium-sized businesses are a vital part of Derbyshire’s economy and by helping fund this project we’re giving them access to state of the art equipment and technical expertise designed to improve efficiency and innovation.
“Grants from the Carbon Smart project are designed to help businesses reduce their energy costs and lower their carbon emissions. Not only will this help make them more competitive, it will also improve their green credentials while supporting our drive for a low carbon economy.”
Fred Paterson, project lead for Carbon Smart SMEs Network at the University of Derby, said:
“The Carbon Smart project offers SMEs in our region a brilliant opportunity to access energy efficiency grants and get sector specific support to take their low carbon products and services to a much wider market.”
The Carbon Smart project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The project is receiving up to £4.6 million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit the European Growth Funding website.
Published: Tuesday 7th February 2017