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Grants on offer to help local business cut carbon and save cash

Published on Friday, October 30, 2020

2 minute read

Solar panels

HUNDREDS of small businesses in Leicester could benefit from a share of a £2million council-run grant scheme to help them cut their energy bills.

Leicester City Council has successfully secured over £1.9million from the European Region Development Fund (ERDF) and launched a new round of its successful Green BELLE scheme.

The scheme offers grants of up to £7,000 to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to help cover the costs of low carbon, energy-efficient improvements to their premises.

Grants are available to support measures such as energy efficient heating, low energy lighting, insulation, or renewable energy sources – such as solar panels or heat pumps. Grants will be awarded to cover up to half the costs, to a maximum of £7,000.

To be eligible, applicants must be a small or medium-sized business based in Leicester or Leicestershire.

Deputy city mayor for environment and transportation Cllr Adam Clarke said: “These grants give local small and medium-sized businesses the chance to become more energy-efficient and save money on their running costs.

“We have ambitious plans to help make Leicester a carbon neutral and climate-adapted city by 2030. The Green BELLE scheme is a really good way to welcome more local firms on board and show them that becoming more energy efficient is good for business and for the city.”

In the first phase of the scheme – which launched in 2017 – the city council worked with 93 local businesses to provide grants for energy efficiency measures including LED lighting and solar panels.

Free advice is available from the Green BELLE team on the range of measures that can help businesses cut the cost of their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

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Supporting local small and medium-sized business to install low carbon, energy efficient measures is just one of the actions resulting from the first Leicester Climate Emergency Strategy. Launched this month, the new strategy sets out an ambitious vision for how the city needs to change to move towards becoming carbon-neutral and adapting to the effects of global heating by 2030, or sooner.

An accompanying action plan – which will be updated on a yearly basis – sets out an initial programme of over 120 actions that will support the strategy and help achieve the ambitious carbon savings required.

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European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £1,993,068 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional

Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit