Businesses are being urged to take advantage of new funding available in Gloucestershire to help reduce their carbon footprints and save on their energy bills.
The money is being delivered through county-based experts, Severn Wye Energy Agency, which will help tackle the paperwork as well as give businesses a free, no-obligation environmental health check.
A total of £300,000 is available through the Target 2030 scheme, to cover up to 30 per cent of the cost of installing improvements up to £60,000 – and the first word of advice from the Highnam-headquartered charity is ‘hurry’.
First time around the pot went fast – but helped more than 240 county businesses, from pubs and hospitality venues to engineering and equestrian businesses, upgrading everything from lighting; catering equipment; solar panel; refrigeration; and manufacturing equipment.
‘This is for businesses that want to make environmental improvements. This is a chance for them to take advantage of the scheme – possibly the last chance as this is European money,’ said James Clarke, director of marketing at Severn Wye, which also sponsors the Independent Shop of the Year category in this year’s SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards.
‘People tend to think ‘solar panels’, but they can get creative. In hospitality, for example, changing from a hot gas oven to an induction cooker can not only save you money, because it saves energy, but makes for a better working environment too.
‘Some have chosen just to take advantage of the free green health check we do on their business, which identifies areas they could make investments in to improve their business processes, reduce their carbon footprint and save money.
‘It is a totally no-commitment relationship. They get something good for free. And if they want to make the improvements now, we can help them access up to £60,000 of funding. So, there are a few benefits for businesses here.’
Businesses which benefitted from the first tranche of funding include the Grade II-listed The Lyon Inn at Westbury, which received £12,665.20 of grant funding for a £36,186.31 investment in cooking equipment, lighting and electrical work, saving 19.5 tonnes of CO2 and the business £4,795.42 a year.
Forest of Dean engineering and manufacturing firm, JM Grail Ltd, won Target 2020 funding of over £42,000, helping it replace all manner of equipment and install solar panels, saving 76.4 tonnes of CO2 and more than £13,000 a year.
Cheltenham charity Cotswold Riding for the Disabled used £2,057 in grant funding towards £5,879.10 of improvements
saving 1.6 tonnes of CO2 per year.
In total Severn Wye has already helped businesses get their hands on nearly £900k in grant funding, saving more than 1,700 tonnes of carbon every year.
Demand was so high that it has been running a waiting list since November in the hope of receiving more funding from the European Regional Development Fund, which it now has.
Funding from Target 2030 is available on a first-come first-served basis.
*For more information, email Severn Wye Energy Agency
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