Grant funding now available for Retail businesses
Recent changes to European funding rules mean that retail businesses across Norfolk and Suffolk can now access grants for energy efficiency measures.
Retail is one of the largest sectors in the region and, while energy use might be a relatively small part of turnover, savings represent an easy win for many businesses. The Carbon Trust calculate that taking 20% off energy spend is equivalent to a 5% increase in sales.
Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils are collaborating to use EU funding to support businesses in the region. A number of shops have already benefitted from free and independent advice; now a change in the funding regulations means that shops can also access grants towards the capital costs of any energy saving measure.
One of the previously supported businesses spells out how the support can be the tipping point to bring new projects forward:
“BEE Anglia’s help has enabled us to reach our long term goal of carbon saving in a shorter period of time. It would have taken us a few years to generate the funding ourselves but receiving the grant funding through BEE Anglia has accelerated that process” Graham Harris, Clickers Archery, Norfolk
Grants are available for up to 28% of the overall project cost, up to a maximum of £20,000, with a minimum of £1,000 (approximate total project cost of £3,500).
To date the project has reviewed 368 organisations, identifying cost savings of £2.26m (£6,146 per business), and carbon savings of 22,371t (61t per business). The savings identified are the equivalent of 6,648 flights from London to Sydney.
It’s not just about identifying savings; BEE Anglia have, so far awarded over £200,000 in grant funding for various energy efficiency projects including radiant heating, vehicle tracking, wood burners and lighting. The scope for grant funding has been widened to enable ANY energy efficiency measure to be considered. Approval will be based on being able to demonstrate sufficient associated energy savings.
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council said “It’s excellent news that the rules have been reviewed so that more businesses can benefit from this funding. Supporting that initial investment in more efficient technology means business can make savings year on year – and every pound cut from energy bills is another pound that is kept in the local economy.”
The BEE Anglia project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered across the region through a partnership of Suffolk County Council, Norfolk County Council, Groundwork and NWES.
Businesses interested in any aspect of this service can register online or call Groundwork on 01473 350370. Dedicated advisors will be able to answer any queries about eligibility for the programme or potential grant projects.