Support for more Derbyshire businesses to reduce energy use and cut carbon through funding programme

9 December 2022

More Derbyshire businesses and organisations will be eligible for help to reduce their energy costs and cut carbon emissions as part of Derbyshire County Council’s Green Entrepreneurs Programme, run in collaboration with the University of Derby.

More than £715,000 has already been awarded to businesses and organisations through the grants programme as part of the council’s drive to help the county reach net zero by 2050 or sooner.

But now changes made to the eligibility criteria for the programme’s Small Grants Fund mean even more businesses and organisations will be able to access funding to help implement green energy plans to reduce their energy costs.

Small grants from £6,000 up to a maximum of £20,000 can be applied for towards projects such as, but not limited to:

Applicants will be required to show how their proposals would cut carbon emissions and how they are planning to reduce their emissions to net zero – which means reducing carbon emissions right down to the lowest possible level and off-setting those that cannot be cut through measures such as planting more trees and other forms of habitat creation to absorb excess carbon from the atmosphere, making the overall net emissions zero.

They will also be asked to highlight how the grant funding will support them to improve their management of resources and staff to increase sustainability and show how the project would or could include wider community benefits such as protecting jobs or encouraging greener behaviour among staff.

Councillor Tony King, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, said:

“We know that small businesses are feeling the pinch with rising energy bills and costs of materials and goods generally.

“This change to the Small Grants Fund criteria means that we can help more small businesses to invest in energy efficiency measures to help cut their costs as well as their carbon footprint.”

As well as the Small Grants Fund, the programme is also accepting applications to the Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Fund to support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of low carbon, green energy.

And the Green Entrepreneurs Demonstrator Fund is also open for applications from high quality, larger scale carbon-cutting projects in Derbyshire. This fund is open to projects that are designed to encourage solutions beyond the mainstream of current thinking and the minimum grant available through this fund is £200,000. 

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:

“The University has an ambition to make Derbyshire synonymous with sustainable business. This extra funding capacity to support businesses on the journey to zero carbon is invaluable, particularly at a time when energy costs are rising. We look forward to seeing the innovative projects that can be supported as a result.”

Find out more about the Green Entrepreneurs Fund programme

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