Green Grants of up to £10k available for SMEs in the South East

A visit from University of Brighton and their Green Growth Platform updated us recently on grants currently available to help SMEs (less than 250 employees or a turnover of less than £44m) and based in the South East.

The LoCASE grant (Low Carbon Across the South East) is available until March 2019 for businesses that are based in East Sussex, Kent and Essex and there are two types:

  • Business growth grants for any business that helps its customers save energy or protect the environment, and
  • Energy efficiency grants for any type of business that wants to reduce its energy bills.

Under the programme, SMEs can claim 40% of the cost of a ‘green’ project; this can be in the form of upgrading heating and cooling equipment to a renewable alternative such as air source heat pumps, marketing green services, installing IT & software to help monitor energy management such as smart building controls, or the installation of low carbon technologies such as LED lighting.  Consultancy and product R&D development are also in the mix of eligible criteria.

Lorraine Bell from the Green Growth Platform advised that “The main condition of this grant is that businesses must be based in East Sussex, Kent or Essex to qualify.” Lorraine also stressed that “this is a grant or gift to help SMEs adopt low carbon solutions and does not have to be paid back.  The submission form is a simple five-page document, we can even help with the application process – all submissions will be approved within 30 days.”

It maybe that you are a manufacturer but not based in the specified areas but your route to market is ie distributor, installer or end user is based in one of the eligible areas for the grant – the grant can be used for marketing purposes by a distributor or could mean that the end user of a retail outlet or hotel can now afford to upgrade their products or service for a specific project.

The LoCASE grants are being funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It is a partnership between Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Southend-One-Sea Council, Thurrock Council and the University of Brighton.

To find out more visit:  www.greengrowthplatform.co.uk

Lorraine further advised “If you are not eligible for the above, there is also another green grant currently available ‘Utilise Plus’ which is open to any SME in England including West Sussex with our local LEP, Coast2Capital being involved”.

The Utilise Plus grant offers a maximum grant of up to £5k with one third of total costs of a project being available and aimed at helping businesses to become more energy efficient.

To find out more on this grant please visit: http://sustainablebusiness.org.uk/utilise-plus-programme/energy-efficiency-grants/

For future projects, there will be more funds available through a new initiative available throughout England called ‘Clean Growth UK’ and funded through Research England which is due to launch in January 2019 in conjunction with University of Brighton, Portsmouth University and Liverpool John Moores university. This will run throughout England and is part of the Governments ‘Clean Growth Industrial Strategy’ announced in April 2018.