Where to find green small business grants

If you fancy making your business and its operations that bit greener, these eco grants will help you get there

Many entrepreneurs are looking to eco small business grants to help them fund environmental projects, adopt green technologies and become more sustainable.

Funding comes under the following categories and are often distributed by local authorities:

  • Renewable energy business grants
  • Sustainability grants
  • Energy efficiency grants
  • Sustainable innovation
  • Green jobs

The green business grants below have been divided according to where they are in the UK and contain a link to the application page which will give you more information.

England

Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG)

Receive a maximum of £30,000 per project for creating multi-purpose woodland.

Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme

The purpose of these eco business grants is to invest in equipment that cuts down on carbon emissions within your business. Warwickshire District Council will fund up to 40 per cent, providing eco business grants between £1,000 and £50,000. The grants are for installing energy efficient equipment like LED controls and renewable technologies.

Low Carbon Revenue Grants, Warwickshire

These eco business grants aim to commercialise low carbon products either new to the company or to the general market. Once again, it’s 40 per cent cover but with a maximum £6,000 funding. It covers things like market research, software and manufacturing consultancy as well as intellectual property protection and certifications.

Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP), Worcestershire County

Worcestershire County are providing free energy and resource efficiency reviews as well funding for projects up to £50,000. The intervention rate is 40 per cent. They’re available to SMEs throughout Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire. You must have a minimum energy spend of £2,000 to apply.

Business Energy Efficiency (BEE Anglia)

The scheme helps businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk to cut their carbon emissions. Improvements can include lighting and heating upgrades, electric vehicles and new machinery. The grant sum is undisclosed but BEE Anglia advise you to apply ASAP.

Low Carbon Workspaces

Low Carbon Workspaces is supplying match-funded eco business grants between £1,000 and £5,000 for businesses to take on green initiatives like double glazing, LED lighting and smart heating. It’s open to SMEs in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.

Conservation grant scheme, Howardian Hills

This one is a Yorkshire-based grant for community infrastructure projects and countryside conservation work in the Howardian Hills Area of Natural Beauty (AONB).

Assistance normally sits in the 30-75 per cent range but with this scheme you may be funded 100 per cent of your project.

Energy for Business, Nottinghamshire

Energy for Business has grants up to £8,000. They’re aimed at businesses in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire who improve energy, reduce emissions or are introducing sustainable technologies. The organisation will fund 40 per cent, up to £8,000.

You’ve got a few conditions to bear in mind. The minimum project cost must be £2,500 and the maximum £20,000 – you’ll be given the grant once the work is completed.

LCR Future Energy, Liverpool

LCR is offering grants of up to £7,500 for SMEs in the Liverpool City Region to enter or grow in the renewable energy supply chain.

Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE)

The RDPE is as it sounds: a programme to develop agricultural and forestry sectors. Within the programme, there are grants and other support available.

Green Port Hull

This one’s open to businesses in the green tech, low carbon and renewable energy sectors, with grants starting from £10,000 available. Your aim should be to increase productivity, skills and employment.

You can use the money in the following areas:

  • Launch a new business
  • Modernise, expand or re-organise an existing business
  • Upgrade a business by introducing innovative new technology or processes
  • Take a new product from development to production

West of England Green Business Grants

West of England Green Business Grants support SMEs to improve their energy efficiency of their buildings and business operations. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can save businesses money on energy bills. The funding pot, provided by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), is £1.7m.

Green Business Grants can be used for capital works and purchases to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and business operations. Applications are now being accepted until June 25 2021.

You will be able to apply for up to £15,000 per business to pay for 50-80 per cent of the eligible capital costs. A free Decarbonisation Report will be provided to help you identify energy saving improvements.

To apply for a grant, you must be:

  • An SME with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of equal to or less than €50m or a balance sheet of equal to or less than €43m (including any partnership your organisation is a part of or any linked enterprises)
  • Based in the West of England region – located in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire local authority area
  • VAT registered
  • Content to be credit checked by a third-party credit reference agency

Some organisations, including sole traders and partnerships, are not eligible to apply for the grant. Check the website for more details.

Lake District Foundation – Low Carbon Lake District Grants (Cumbria)

The Low Carbon Lake District grants are for businesses and community groups wishing to reduce their carbon footprint.

The total size of the grant pot is £1,000,000 and applications will be reviewed by an independent expert panel. Your businesses or group will need to either operate within the Lake District National Park or have some impact within the Lake District National Park.

Qualifying groups and businesses will be awarded up to 60 per cent of project costs, up to a maximum of £20,000, and all projects will need to be completed by March 2023. State Aid rules also apply.

You will need to be ready to start your project within six months of an offer being made, and completed within 12 months, or by March 2023 at the latest.

Energy Efficiency Grants East Sussex

An SME may apply for a grant between £200-£1000 to cover a maximum 40 per cent of the total value of their energy efficiency project through the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC.

The grant is available to any business, social enterprise or charity that:

  • Has fewer than 250 full time equivalent employees
  • Has a turnover less than £44m
  • Is not owned by a group or company that does not meet the above two criteria

To apply for a grant the SME must also have:

  • A premises in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove) where the energy efficiency project will be installed
  • Received an Energy Audit to identify energy saving measures; provided through the LoCASE project, or through a similar scheme or a private supplier.

Public sector organisations and schools are not eligible for funding.

Download Application Form

You can download your application form using the link above. To apply for the grant please email your completed application form and supporting documents to info@sustainablebusiness.org.uk.

Energy Efficiency Grant – Manchester  

If you have a small or medium-sized business in Greater Manchester, you may be eligible for the Energy Efficiency Grant of between £1,000 and £12,500 from GC Business Growth Hub, to help with up to 50 per cent of the costs of your energy efficiency improvements.

The grants are available for a limited time on a first-come first-served basis and can go towards costs like:

  • A new LED lighting system for your premises
  • Heating equipment upgrades
  • Replacement drives or motors
  • Process efficiency investments

Green BELLE – Leicestershire

Green BELLE (Green Business Energy in Leicester and Leicestershire) gives eco business grants of up to £10,000 to support SMEs in Leicester and Leicestershire to install low carbon measures and increase their energy efficiency. Green BELLE is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Green BELLE supports SMEs in Leicester and Leicestershire to increase their energy efficiency, reduce their energy costs and lower their carbon emissions. Grants of £1,000 to £10,000 are available to support the installation of low carbon and energy efficient technologies in local SMEs.

If you are applying for a Green BELLE grant, your proposed measures should reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.

SMEs can apply for a grant of £1,000 to £10,000, at 50 per cent of the total project cost. The remaining contribution is required as match funding from the SME.

Any additional cost above this grant maximum (i.e. above a total cost of £20,000) will also need to be paid for by the SME. Note that a minimum grant amount of £1,000 also applies, so the minimum total cost of the measures, with the SME’s match funding, is £2,000.

Low Carbon Dorset

Low Carbon Dorset is a five-year programme of activities to help stimulate growth in Dorset’s low carbon economy and reduce the county’s footprint.

It offers free technical support and grant funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

The programme is run by Dorset Council (DC) and the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It aims to help improve your energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable energy, and aid the development of new low carbon products.

Scotland

NESTRANS Sustainable Travel Grant Scheme

NESTRANS supports development of travel plans in Aberdeen City and Shire. Applicants can bid for up to £10,000 in matched funding to support sustainable transport initiatives.

Forestry Grant Scheme

This scheme is focused on providing financial support for businesses involved in the creation of either new woodland spaces or the sustainable management of existing woodlands. It is managed by the Scottish Rural Payments and Services agency and Scottish Forestry.

Circular Economy Investment Fund

Zero Waste Scotland is investing £18m as grant funding to small and medium sized enterprises who are helping to create a more circular economy.

The Circular Economy Investment Fund is a funding opportunity for businesses and organisations in Scotland working in all business and social economy sectors.

Applications are open to businesses with innovative projects that have the ability to deliver carbon savings, leverage investment and create jobs.

Zero Waste Scotland is focused on impacts in:

  • Built environment
  • Food systems
  • Bioeconomy
  • Energy infrastructure
  • Heat and energy
  • Waste

Proposals can come from small to medium sized enterprises (fewer than 250 employees/turnover less than €50m) and non-profit organisations (charities and social enterprises).

Funding for green jobs

Funding for green jobs are being delivered as rounds of funding that open and close periodically for fixed amounts of time and from which the best projects will be chosen for support.

The green jobs calls aim to support businesses to create and maintain jobs that improve the environment, and to support projects that align to the Scottish Government net zero policies. That’s the Scottish Government’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

The first call is aimed at supporting businesses to:

  • Create green jobs (these are new jobs that relate directly to the transition to net zero) or facilitate the transition of a job from non-green to green
  • Minimise environmental impacts by developing sustainable low carbon products or services

The first call is open until 12 noon on Tuesday June 24, 2021. A second call will be announced later in the year.

The first grant is for businesses located in the Scottish Enterprise area, or looking to set up a trading location in this area before October 1, 2021. It offers grants between £50,000 and £500,000 and can support between 10 per cent and 50 per cent of eligible project costs, depending on factors such as company size, location and project activities.

Businesses undertaking activities that will result in green jobs, including investing in premises, purchasing capital equipment or conducting research and development can also apply.

Wales

Local Places for Nature

The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Welsh Government are offering eco business grants of £10,000–£50,000 (in 2020-21) for capital projects in Wales that will acquire, restore and enhance nature.

They are particularly looking for projects that can be seen ‘from your doorstep’. This means where people live, work, access public services, travel (including roadside verges and roundabouts) and spend their leisure time (including public open spaces).

The Local Places for Nature scheme will offer:

  • Up to one year of grant funding for nature projects worth up to £50,000. In certain circumstances we can fund up to £100,000 (discuss before applying).
  • Up to 100 per cent funding
  • Decisions within eight weeks of application

The grant programme will remain open until funds are exhausted.

Northern Ireland

DAERA grants and funding

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs is a government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. This page lists environmental grants along with other business support.

If you can’t find any suitable eco business grants in the list above, take a look at the government’s finance and business support round-up or your local authority’s website.

Read more

150 UK small business grants to apply for right now

Related Topics

Business Grants
Eco-friendly