Businesses and organisations across the borough will be able to apply for new Low Carbon Barrow small grants to help them to take action on climate change.
Low Carbon Barrow is encouraging small- to medium-sized firms as well as formally constituted community organisations that can demonstrate they can reduce their carbon footprint through investment in changes at work to apply.
Low Carbon Barrow - a two-year scheme launched last year thanks to funding secured from the European Regional Development Fund and Cumbria LEP - will cover two-thirds of the cost of an organisation’s measures to reduce carbon emissions.
These measures must be a capital investment and could include the installation of LED lighting, alternative heating systems, photovoltaics or building management systems.
The grants will launch this weekend, with expressions of interest from businesses across the borough invited from Monday November 15.
Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council,said the Low Carbon Barrow grants were a brilliant opportunity to help make Barrow a cleaner, greener place while also combating climate change.
She added: “We are keen to hear ideas from businesses and groups in our area and to make them a reality. The funding is open to small- to medium-sized organisations who want to be champions in combating climate change and helping the planet move towards a position of climate repair.
“We all need to do our bit to protect our planet and businesses have an opportunity to make a real difference. It’s something that is not to be missed out on.”
Barrow Borough Council last year unveiled its ambition for the borough to become carbon neutral by 2037.
Low Carbon Barrow is a programme of projects designed to engage local communities on climate issues and sustainability thanks to funding from the England European Regional Development Fund and Cumbria LEP. It will be delivered in partnership with locally-based organisation Art Gene over the next two years. Art Gene will lead on the distribution of the grants supporting businesses and groups to understand the process for application.
Applications for Low Carbon Barrow grants from between £1,000 and £10,000 will be considered. Applications will be assessed by an independent panel and successful applicants will be required to contribute around one third of the costs of their project. For example, a business that spends £6,000 on changing all of its lighting in a warehouse to LED will be able to claim back £4,000 for the cost.
Innovative proposals or trials - particularly those based on new technologies or which could be considered an exemplar in terms of the achievement of significant carbon savings - are encouraged and will be considered.
Cllr Thomson said: “The world is in a climate emergency so it’s vital that every one of us finds opportunities to lower carbon emissions and lessen the negative impact we have upon the environment.
“As a council, we’ve always been clear about our ambitions for the borough to achieve carbon zero status by 2037 and Low Carbon Barrow offers some excellent and exciting ways to help people and our communities to play their part.
“I would urge businesses to think about the ways in which they can make a change or a difference and then apply for a Low Carbon Barrow grant to help cover the cost.”
To see if they are eligible for a grant, businesses and organisations should visit www.art-gene.co.uk and complete a simple expression of interest form in the first instance.