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Grants and assistance for businesses

Two new energy efficiency funds are now available for businesses.

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New funding opportunity - The Clean Growth Strategy

The Clean Growth Strategy outlines plans to cut emissions and to support the development of a low carbon economy. 

Key funding news outlined in the strategy include:

  • The National Productivity Investment Fund will provide an additional £4.7 billion to support low carbon intervention. 
  • Setting up a £20 million fund to support early stage investment into clean technology
  • Investing around £162 million of public funds in Energy, Resource and Process efficiency, including up to £20 million to encourage switching to lower carbon fuels.
  • Supporting innovative energy technologies and processes with £14 million of further investment through the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (outlined below).
  • Providing £100 million for a national programme of support for retrofitting and new low emission buses in England and Wales.
  • Announcing plans for the public sector to lead the way in transitioning to zero emissions vehicles.
  • Investing £1.2 billion to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys.
  • Providing £255 million of funding for energy efficiency improvements in England and help public bodies access sources of funding.

Find out more at GOV.UK

New funding opportunity - The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund: phase 6

Phase 6 of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, a competitive funding scheme to support the development and demonstration of state of the art technologies, products and processes in the areas of energy efficiency, power generation, and heat and electricity storage, is now open for applications.

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund seeks the best ideas, irrespective of source, across these energy technology areas from the public and private sector. The scheme particularly aims to assist small and medium-sized enterprises, including start-ups, and those companies that are selected will receive additional funding for incubation support. A total of £10 million is available for projects in phase 6.

For specific guidelines, please read the guidance notes.

Maximum grant: £1 million (Dependant on your organisation).

Deadline: Expressions of interest are required by 1pm on 17 November 2017. The deadline for applications is 1pm on 1 December 2017.

Find out more at GOV.UK

Can your business get a better gas and electricity deal?

Braintree District Council is pleased to announce a new scheme working in partnership with 'Make It Cheaper' to offer an innovative energy switching service to local SME businesses.  The purpose of this scheme is to assist businesses to reduce the cost of their energy bills by as much as 30%.

Can your businesses switch water supplier?

From April 2017, most businesses and other non-household customers in England can choose their supplier of water and wastewater retail services. If your business is eligible, you could benefit from:

  • Lower bills and more tailored services
  • Help to become water efficient and reduce carbon emissions

For further information visit Open Water

Grants for businesses

Support from the Government

There are a number of other opportunities for funding support available from national schemes. Find support schemes to help your business, including:

  • Government grants
  • Publicly-backed finance and loans
  • Business support, such as mentoring, consultancy

Search the business finance support finder at GOV.UK


Grants4Growth is a free two year package for SME's, giving practical help and financial assistance to help reduce costs and increase competitiveness and resilience. 

The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme

A new £20 million fund to help farming, forestry and horticultural businesses to become more efficient at using resources has been launched. The scheme aims to help businesses to become more competitive and more profitable, whilst reducing the impact of farming on the environment.

Farmers, foresters, woodland owners, agricultural contractors and horticulturalists can apply for grants of up to £25,000 to invest in green projects, new machinery and improvements to animal health and welfare so their businesses can grow in an environmentally friendly way.

The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme will fund projects that: 

  • save energy and reduce carbon emissions
  • reduce dependence on artificial fertilizers through better use of manures
  • improve soil quality
  • improve animal health and welfare
  • save and recycle water; and
  • promote woodland management by processing timber more efficiently

For more information go to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform page on GOV.UK 

Eastern Plateau funding

What is Eastern Plateau?

The Eastern Plateau Programme is funded by the Rural Development Programme for England, a programme that is managed by the Rural Payments Agency and is funded by the European Commission and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Eastern Plateau has been allocated £1.8million to invest in local farm businesses, micro enterprises, tourism, and community service providers up until December 2020. The funds will be administered through a LEADER approach and will be managed by a local action group.

What will Eastern Plateau programme funding be focused on?

1. Support for increasing farm productivity

2. Support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification

3. Support for Rural Tourism

4. Support for rural services

5. Support for cultural and heritage activity

6. Support for increasing forestry productivity

Who is eligible for support?

To find out more information on eligibility please download the applicant handbook from

To be eligible for investment your project will need to fit with the following criteria:

  • Be relevant to one of the six priorities identified above
  • Demonstrate that the majority of the project beneficiaries reside with the Eastern Plateau area (see map)
  • Be able to secure match funding (the amount needed will depend on which priority your project relates to)
  • Demonstrate that your project will have wider benefits within local the community such as within local supply chains (projects that just support your business alone will be unlikely to receive investment)

How much funding is available?

The grant amount will depend on the type of project, the size of the business, and the costs involved (note: not all the costs of a project may qualify for funding).

Applications must be for a grant of at least £2,500. The maximum grant amount will vary between priorities as determined by European funding rules.

Grants will typically be limited to a maximum of 40 per cent of the project's total eligible costs. However, some types of projects can get higher rates.

Who can apply?

To apply for LEADER funding the applicant, or their project or beneficiaries, must be in a LAG area.

Applications can be made by farmers, growers, foresters, other local rural businesses and rural community organisations who are in the Eastern Plateau LAG area. They can be:

  • private businesses
  • public organisations
  • voluntary organisations
  • someone who wants to start a business

Applicants must be a legal entity and able to sign a legally binding contract.


Grants for public sector organisations

Salix Finance is an independent, publicly funded company that provides interest-free matched funding to the public sector to invest in energy efficiency measures and technologies that will reduce carbon emissions. Uttlesford District Council has taken advantage of Salix match-funding to implement its own carbon-management programme.

Further advice and assistance

The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent company funded by Government. Its role is to help the UK move to a low carbon economy by helping business and the public sector reduce carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust has a wide range of assistance available including training, seminars, publications and free site surveys. The Council is part of the 2007-08 Carbon Trust Local Authority Carbon Management Programme

To contact the Carbon Trusts free technical advice line call: 0800 085 2005.


Local Agenda 21


Local Agenda 21 is a worldwide initiative set up following the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Its purpose is to enable voluntary community action to protect the environment: 'think globally; act locally'. Local Agenda 21 groups are hosted by local authorities but involve private individuals, businesses and other organisations. Uttlesford Local Agenda 21 is always looking for new members to get involved.

BEST Growth Hub

Essex businesses of all sizes can access a new business support service from the BEST Growth Hub. Telephone 01702 417765 or visit the BEST Growth Hub.

Contact the Sustainability Team

Tel: 01799 510510
Email: Climate Change