About the grants

Low Carbon Barrow grants is a European-funded support programme to help small- and medium-sized businesses, charities and constituted community groups improve their energy efficiency and environmental performance. Our aim is to distribute £155k in grants, matched with 30% of project costs from businesses: an injection of £225k to help create a low carbon Barrow.

Low Carbon Barrow will award around 25 grants  across the borough – from Ireleth to Walney, and from Askam to Lindal. The programme will support low carbon investments by businesses from a range of sectors including hospitality, retail, manufacturing and transport. Grants of between £1k and £10k are available.

Once assessed by an independent expert panel, successful organisations will need to meet a percentage of the projects costs, and provide evidence to the funders. Our Low Carbon Grants Lead will guide you through the application process, helping with questions about eligibility and how projects should be planned and delivered.

For example

A charity that spends £1,800 on changing all of its lighting to LED could claim back a grant of £1,200 for the costs.

A small business investing £24k in an air source heat pump with new insulation could claim back up to £10k in grant funding.

Total project costs (before VAT) should be below £25,000. We can fund appropriate renewable energy solutions or fixed assets which create energy efficiency. We will not fund moveable assets, such as electric vehicles, with this programme.

The legal detail

Qualifying SMEs and constituted community groups, if successful, will be awarded up to 70% of project costs. For SMEs, the following must be true:

  • Number of employees less that 250
  • Turnover less than €50m (approx. £46m) or balance sheet less that €43m (approx. £39m)
  • If more than 25% of the business is owned by another company/group the consolidated accounts of the parent company must still meet the SME threshold

Restrictions apply to agriculture, banking and insurance, fisheries and ports, nuclear, public services, school age education, shipbuilding, steel and synthetic fibres.

State Aid rules apply. To be eligible for a grant you will need to be below the ‘De Minimis threshold’ and sign a declaration to that effect. In order to avoid public funding distorting competition within the European common market, the European Commission set limits on the levels of assistance which the public sector can provide to businesses (“the State Aid rules”). The assistance provided to you from Barrow Borough Council will comply with the state aid rules by applying De Minimis Exemption, EC Regulation 1407/2013 (24 Dec 2013) in the first instance, and the General Black Exemption Regulation (GBER), EC Regulation 651/2014 (17 Jun 2014) may also be applied.

Grants will be paid in arrears once projects are completed; you may need to demonstrate the ability to cashflow the work. We anticipate that for most applicants VAT will be recoverable and we will award grants at up to 70% of costs, excluding VAT.

All projects will need to be fully completed and invoiced by February 2023.

You will need to publicly acknowledge the funders for the support received.

You will need to agree for us to hold and share your information.

There is a two-stage application process

First, complete this simple Registration and Expression of Interest Form to share your project idea and to find out if you’re eligible for a grant. If so, you will be invited to make a full application.

Only those eligible will be sent the main application form and a De Minimis declaration form. At this stage you must submit three quotations for the capital works you are proposing and tell us how much CO2 equivalent you will save over a year – this will be the main factor in decision taking on the award of grants.*

The panel has a target that, if there is sufficient demand, at least four grants will be awarded to community groups.

In the context of the climate emergency and the rising costs of living, we are keen to award grants quickly. Expressions of Interest and Application Forms can be submitted at any time. We will be prepared to convene our grants panel at least monthly from February – May 2022 to deal with the application pipeline. Applications received by the 12th and the 23rd of the month will be considered within a month. The next deadline is 12 March 2022.

If you are offered a grant, you will need to cashflow the completion of the project and provide evidence of both works and spend in order to release the grant in arrears.

For more information or help with completing forms contact: Jo Reilly, Low Carbon Grants Lead: jo.reilly@art-gene.co.uk

* Central government publish annual conversion factors to help business calculate green house gas emission savings.