Environmental Grants and Your Business
Often overlooked by business owners, grant aid can help your business develop its environmental credentials. Many of these grants are specific to an industrial sector, or are only available in a designated region of the UK. There are also business grants linked to innovation in technology, and specialised grants that support the Governments stated goals of helping business reduce its carbon footprint and improve the negative impact it has on the environment.
Not all businesses will be eligible for an environment grant, but this should not stop your enterprise investigating any grants that it believes it may be able to obtain. The Government has be criticised for the complex nature of the grant application procedure. These systems are being streamlined and simplified, but your business still needs to look at the detailed eligibility criteria before spending resources applying for the grant. Some of the available environment grants are listed below. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce, Business Link branch and Local Authority as the number of grants available constantly changes.
Grant for Business InvestmentA general grant that is available to all businesses in England, the money can be spent to help businesses ‘expand, rationalise, modernise or diversify’. Your business must be in an Assisted Area. If you are not sure if your enterprise is, there is a handy Postcode checker on the BERR website. You will need to make a detailed case when applying for the grant that will usually give you between 10-15 per cent of your projects capital needs, with a minimum of £10,000. Applications and more information is available from your local Business Link or by calling: 0845 600 9006.
Applied Research GrantOperated by the Carbon Trust, these grants are specifically aimed at any companies that wish to develop new technologies that will reduce the carbon emissions of businesses. For your business to qualify, you must present a detailed business plan, and be able to make at least a 40 per cent investment into the project from your businesses own resources. The Carbon Trust recently increased its Applied Research Grant scheme to £500,000.
Robert Trezona, Head of R&D at the Carbon Trust, said: “If we are to meet our renewable energy targets, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure that the UK has access to secure and cost effective energy, it is vital to turn viable low carbon technologies into commercial reality. By increasing our grants to half a million pounds and matching this with private investment, we can build on the UK’s strong technological and engineering expertise.”