Business sustainability grants programme specification

New applications to the Business Sustainability grant programme have now been paused.

The grants programme has been very popular since its launch in September 2023. Over £200,000 has been approved for various projects, including the installation of LED lighting, waste management systems, solar panels and electric vehicle chargers. We believe we have now received sufficient applications to allocate the remainder of the budget. The programme has therefore been paused to give us time to review the grant requests we have so far.

We thank everyone who has applied and worked with us to date. Decarbonisation support and specialist advice can still be obtained via our Business Sustainability support programme.

Programme overview

The programme will address funding and knowledge gaps preventing businesses taking effective action on net zero, and aid development and delivery of net zero interventions for businesses.

Who can apply

Micro, small and medium sized enterprises (those with up to 250 staff) including:

  • sole traders and limited companies from all sectors, including business-to-consumer and business-to-business models
  • landlords of commercial units and business parks
  • community interest companies and community enterprises

Project related planning permission and building regulations must be in place or have been applied for at the time of application.

Application exclusions

  • start up businesses, such as those operating for less than 2 years
  • tenants with less than five years unexpired tenancy in the project property or those who do not have their landlord's permission for the project
  • applicants who have already received a grant under this programme cannot reapply for more funding until six months after completion of their first award

What will be funded

Two types of capital grants will be available: the Net Zero Menu and the flexible Capital Grants.

Net Zero Menu

The Net Zero Menu offers ‘quick return’ items suitable for most businesses. The menu items are:

  • improved insulation
  • moving to LED lighting
  • low-flow taps and showerheads
  • bike racks for active travel
  • motion-activated lights
  • anti-flooding measures

Capital Grants

Capital Grants for projects that will help reduce emissions, save money, and help resources go further. This work could cover for example:

  • energy efficiency of property and equipment and low carbon heating
  • renewable energy generation, storage options and grid capacity
  • decarbonising transport and fleet emissions
  • circular economy opportunities - making the most of our resources, buildings and people, and minimising waste such as equipment needed to enable reusable or refillable packaging/takeaway solutions 
  • climate resilience and adaption
  • supporting nature to thrive - where this has a greenhouse gas reduction or adaptation impact

Property based projects should take a 'fabric first' approach to improve energy efficiency prior to new heating and renewable energy installations.

Total funding available: £521,000 (revenue and capital grants) until February 2025.

Funding exclusions (particular types of project or spend)

  • recoverable VAT

Amount of grant funding available

  • Net Zero Menu: grants of up to £2,000
  • Capital Grants: from £2,000 and up to £49,950

Match funding is required: Net Zero Menu is 20% and Capital Grants is up to 40%.

Programme specific outputs and outcomes that projects need to aim for

  • increased uptake of energy efficiency measures 
  • greenhouse gas emissions reductions

The application should indicate why the project requires Shared Prosperity Fund grant support and at the level requested. This is particularly related to the 'return on investment' if energy efficiency or renewable energy technology is deployed.

Information on the type of projects that will be given priority

We will assess all applications fairly and competitively based on:

  • alignment with the eligibility criteria listed under the ‘who can apply for support’ section
  • alignment with the purpose outlined under each programme and a review of outcomes related to greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation
  • the likelihood of your project being delivered before the end of February 2025 - for example risk factors such as good governance, planning permission, suppliers and match funding being in place
  • the requirement for grant support for the project (could it proceed without the grant?) - this is particularly related to the ‘return on investment’ if energy efficiency or renewable energy technology is deployed

Programme procurement requirements

Two quotes must be provided for grant funded items.

Programme monitoring and evaluation requirements

Evaluation will be expected to be complete towards the end of a 12 month period when the support has had time to impact on practice or progress. A reminder will be sent at this time. The evaluation requirements will be stated/provided in the service level agreement at the point of agreeing to work with the team.

When do projects need to be completed by

  • completion by February 2025

Information on application appraisal methods and award timescales

Pre-application forms will be screened for basic eligibility, for example, alignment with the criteria listed under the ‘who can apply for support’ section. If appropriate, your organisation will then be asked to submit a full application form.  A contract officer will then be assigned to review the information and seek any further clarification required before project appraisal.  

An independent panel will make recommendations for approval to the Shared Prosperity Fund Business and Low Carbon Theme Group, which meets on a bi-monthly basis. You will be notified if your application has been successful and any specific terms and conditions associated with the grant and a funding agreement will be sent for grant applications. Payments will be made in arrears, when your project has been completed, unless by prior arrangement.

Opening date for applications

  • 25 September 2023

Closing date for applications

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the funds are fully allocated.

How to apply

Please complete a pre-application form. This is available on the UK shared prosperity fund page

Further information

Data protection

Please note that by submitting a pre-application or full application form, you are consenting to any personal data collected being processed by North Yorkshire Council and shared with partners involved in the delivery of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This includes the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and its contractors. The personal data will be held for the purposes of contacting applicants and assessing applications. You can find out about your data protection and subject access rights on our website.