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sustainable east midlands

Funded Support and Programmes

We have pulled together a range of support focused on helping SME businesses transition to a more environmentally sustainable way of working.


The list below signposts you to regional and national funded support and programmes currently available.

If you have any questions or recommendations regarding the information on this page, please contact us.

Energy for Business can support energy innovators and those who want to become more energy efficient by forging links between businesses and world-class academics, researchers and graduate talent in the energy field.

Delivered by the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), this low-carbon innovation project offers product research and development, business support and capital funding to SMEs in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) region and Leicestershire (LLEP) regions.

Discover more about Energy for Business

Helping SMEs in Derby and Derbyshire to reduce carbon emissions, save money and become more sustainable.

The aim of the DE-Carbonise project is to reduce the carbon emissions of small and medium sizes businesses by providing energy efficiency audits, impartial advice to foster improvement and innovation. Grants for between £1,000 and £20,000 are also available.

The DE-Carbonise project is a partnership between the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Visit the DE-Carbonise website.

Leicestershire County Council is committed to improving the local environment through waste prevention and reuse to minimise the amount thrown away, reducing carbon and improving biodiversity.

In order to help eligible community based organisations achieve this, the Council is offering up to £3,000 in the form of SHIRE Environment Grants.

More information can be found here.

Are you an SME in Leicester or Leicestershire that wants to reduce energy costs?

Green BELLE supports Small or Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Leicester and Leicestershire to increase their energy efficiency, reduce their energy costs and lower their carbon emissions. Grants of £1,000 to £7,000 are available to support the installation of low carbon and energy efficient technologies in local SMEs.

Green BELLE is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund.

Learn more about Green BELLE.

Grants available for Leicester City and Leicestershire businesses

The Walking and Cycling Team supports city and county businesses, who recognise the health, environmental and financial benefits of encouraging their staff to make commute and in-work journeys by active and sustainable transport, by offering a number of free initiatives.

Leicester and Leicestershire businesses can also apply for business travel grants of up to £5000.

More information about the grants and support available.

Are you a Leicester or Leicestershire SME that wants to minimise your environmental impacts?

The Innovation for Good programme offers free/subsidised sustainability audits to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in Leicester and Leicestershire, allowing them to assess your business practices in areas such as energy, water, waste, procurement and travel. They will provide your business with a detailed report outlining areas for improvements, potential cost savings and any next steps, including further support services to help you find ways to reduce your environmental impacts.

The Innovation for Good programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Click here to discuss your audit today.

Financial help to provide workplace travel improvements.

The connected Grant is available to businesses, and voluntary and community groups based in Derby who need financial help to improve travel to their site.

This includes measures that make it easier, cheaper, healthier, or greener for employees and visitors. Grants will be made available for both infrastructure and incentives such as:

  • installing cycle parking and storage facilities for staff and visitors
  • car share signs and marking out priority car share parking bays
  • showers and changing facilities
  • buying pool bikes for staff to use
  • site access improvements for walking and cycling
  • electric vehicle charging points and pool vehicles (*up to a maximum of £2,000)
  • support for targeted events, campaigns and promotions inside the workplace.

By applying for funding (of up to £15,000) your organisation will commit to developing a Travel Action Plan that reviews how staff and visitors travel to your site.

Discover more about Connected Grants.

A scheme open to small and medium sized businesses based in Derbyshire with up to 250 staff and micro-business with up to 10 staff.
The University of Derby is partnering with Derbyshire County Council to deliver a £2 million grant fund for businesses interested in developing and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes.

There are three strands:
1. Demonstrator Fund
2. Small Grant Fund
3. Scholarship Fund

For all the details and to apply please click here.

Up to 50 new electric vans will be available for loan from early December to help support business in Nottingham.

EVE will help businesses and organisations explore the use and benefits of electric vans. The service is fully funded, including unlimited mileage and vehicle insurance with loans available for up to three months. A small administration fee will be charged to each participating business/organisation to access the service.

To find out more visit Transport Nottingham and complete the expression of interest form.

The Electric Van Experience (EVE) is a unique opportunity for Derby-based businesses to test drive a range of electric vans.

Derby City Council is offering businesses, as well as voluntary and public sector organisations in the city, the chance to try an electric van that suits their needs, including provision of a charge point at the business premises. This will give businesses and organisations the chance to experience first hand the financial and environmental benefits of greener vehicles, and provide operational confidence to make a permanent switch. They particularly want to hear from those businesses who regularly use the A38 or A52.

If you are interested in taking part click here for more information.

Cycle Derby now have a fleet of e-Cargo bikes for use in and around Derby, five of which are available for local business looking to try out a sustainable alternative to local deliveries by car or van.

Cycle Derby are offering these on a ‘try before you buy’ basis for up to 6 months.

Demand is high, so if you are interested in this opportunity get in touch today.

Discover more about e-Cargo Bikes.

To register your interest or enquire email or tel:01332 641747

The Accelerating Reduction in Carbon (ARC) project aims to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Greater Nottingham to reduce their energy use and their carbon emissions through carbon reduction advice and grants.

The project supports the reduction of carbon by businesses largely through the improvement of energy performance of buildings and production processes such as LED lighting, improved insulation and heating/cooling systems, and production of renewable energy. The project can also support broader decarbonisation activities by businesses such as resource efficiency and ‘smart’ energy applications.

Grants are available for between £1,000 and £16,000, covering up to 35% of the total cost of works to support the implementation of carbon reduction measures for eligible businesses. The minimum project value is £2,900.

You will find more details by clicking here.

The D2N2 Government Funding Tracker is an interactive tool that synthesises funding announcements from across the UK government. The tracker has been developed to help funders, policy makers and others to understand the complex and evolving landscape of government funding.

This includes a “low carbon” tracker service.

Transport Nottingham are offering financial support, for businesses or organisations within the Nottingham City boundary, from up to £25,000 to help meet the cost of workplace travel improvements such as:

  • Electric Vehicle charge points
  • Cycle parking
  • Showers
  • Pool bikes
  • Car sharing
  • Car parking management

The following are eligible for the grant; Businesses covered by the Nottingham Workplace Parking Levy, Public sector organisations, SME’s, Health and social care organisations, joint service centres, medical centres, hospitals, organisations on business parks and industrial areas and the voluntary sector.

Transport Nottingham are asking for a financial or in-kind contribution.

Visit the Transport Nottingham Website to discover more.

Free sustainability support for your businessThanks to ERDF funding, the University of Sheffield is able to provide FREE support to local start-ups and SME businesses, which can be done in a variety of formats including – consultancy, knowledge transfer and diagnostic advice – across various topic areas around sustainability, cost reduction, innovation and commercial reseach and development.

To find out more visit the TERC website today.

The Sustainability in Enterprise (SiE) project aims to drive sustainable growth in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through a focus on the three key areas of business performance: process, premises and design.

The objective of this project is to achieve low-carbon growth through improving the overall sustainability of the local economy. This will be achieved through five strands of support available to eligible SMEs.

Support available through the Sustainability in Enterprise (SiE) project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Support is only available to SMEs based in the Greater Nottingham (SUDS) area.

Through innovation and collaboration accelerate the uptake of sustainable manufacturing in your business.

SPIN cohorts gather manufacturing businesses into groups to gain knowledge, implement change and grow their business. As a cohort member WMG will work on a specific project to help your business grow sustainably. Cohort members also benefit from workshops, energy surveys and a best practice visit. This programme is pre-funded for manufacturing SMEs based in Leicestershire. Available to all SMEs is our interactive online events to engage manufacturers in discussions about becoming more sustainable.

For more information click here.

Helping businesses to save staff money and encourage low-carbon travel.

SmartGo is a national scheme providing discounted workplace travel, helping employers incentivise low-carbon transport and save their staff money. Offers are available on buses, trains, bikes and more, all accessed through the online portal, producing benefits for both employers and staff.

Find out more about the SmartGo scheme.

Fleet support could save your fleet up to £300,000 and 250 tonnes of carbon each year.

The Energy Saving Trust provide a free Green Fleet review for public and private sector businesses in England.
The review will provide advice on vehicle choice, fuel economy, mileage reduction strategies, grey fleet management and staff engagement.

They also provide Air Quality fleet reviews, Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle reviews, Grey fleet reviews and reviews for HGV fleets.
More information can be found at the Energy Saving Trust.

To apply or enquire email:

The Natwest Accelerator programme support and empowers UK Entrepreneurs and business owners to scale their businesses to the next level. Through the specialist Accelerator programmes there is wrap around support and access to expertise – the fully-funded NatWest Accelerator programme supports businesses to grow and scale. At least 25% of the places are reserved for businesses with a green focus. The programme includes one-to-one coaching and learning/networking events with a connected community and industry partners.

To enquire, email us.

ENGIE has partnered with Innovate UK to seek out and fund innovative projects that can speed up the development of a sustainable energy transition.

The £4million fund will be used to invest in innovative projects that decarbonise, digitise and decentralise energy, and help achieve a sustainable transition to cleaner energy. Successful projects will receive a combination of government grants from Innovate UK, and private investment from ENGIE. The project is aimed at SME businesses in the UK.

Learn more about the UK Clean Growth Innovation Fund.

TDAP is designed to help fast-track low emission technologies towards commercialisation. The programme provides mentoring as well as facilitating financial support for SMEs, helping bring forward their innovative technologies. If you have a product or technology with the potential to reduce the environmental impact of the transport sector, you could be eligible for £100,000+ of combined grant funding, technical support and business mentoring.

Visit the TDAP website to discover more.

There is a wide range of other funding available through different bodies to support the green agenda in the UK.

Take a look at the UKRI Funding Finder today.

Some of the UK’s most polluting industries will benefit from £40 million funding to help them cut their carbon emissions, while reducing their energy bills.

Businesses in energy-intensive sectors, including pharmaceuticals, steel, paper and food and drink, will be able to apply for grants worth up to £14 million through the government’s Industrial Energy Transformation Fund – totalling £289 million in funding up until 2024.

For more information click here.

The Farming Investment Fund (FIF) provides grants to improve productivity and bring environmental benefits.

FIF is made up of 2 separate funds:

Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (for grants between £2,000 and £25,000)
Farming Transformation Fund (for grants between £35,000 and £500,000)

To discover more click here.

There are 2 grants you can get for installing chargepoints for electric vehicles at a property you own:

  • An electric vehicle chargepoint grant (EV chargepoint grant)
  • An electric vehicle infrastructure grant (EV infrastructure grant)

You can use an infrastructure grant and a chargepoint grant on the same property.

An EV chargepoint grant gives you money off the cost of installing an electric vehicle chargepoint socket. You can get either £350 or 75% off the cost to buy and install a socket, whichever amount is lower.

An EV infrastructure grant gives you money off the cost of wider building and installation work that’s needed to install multiple chargepoint sockets. The work can be for sockets you want to install now and in the future. For example, an EV infrastructure grant can cover things like wiring and posts. You can get up to £30,000 or 75% off the cost of the work. The amount depends on how many parking spaces the work covers.

To check eligibility and to apply click here.