Low Carbon Lake District Grants

Supporting you to reduce the carbon footprint of your community group or business

As we recover from the Covid crisis, we need to be ready to face the environmental challenges ahead. Thanks to support from the European Structural Investment Fund, the Lake District Foundation is delighted to be able to offer grants to community groups and small to medium sized businesses wishing to reduce their Carbon Footprint. 

The total size of the grant pot is £1,000,000 and applications will be reviewed by an independent expert panel. Funding is available to community groups and businesses from a range of sectors, and your businesses or group will need to either operate within the Lake District National Park or have some impact within the Lake District National Park.  

Qualifying groups and businesses will be awarded up to 60% of project costs, up to a maximum of £20,000, and all projects will need to be completed by March 2023. State Aid Rules will apply so if you have received European funding in the last three years please get in touch to discuss your situation. 

Projects requiring design or feasibility support are not eligible for funding support, but please contact us as we may be able to find alternative funding or advice to support the project. 

We know that we face uncertain times, and investment this year is not going to be easy, and as aethical funder we aim to be as supportive as possible throughout the process.  We will connect you with like-minded businesses and groupsto enable learning to spread far and wide, and build a legacy beyond the life of this funding. 

This is your chance to make a real difference to the sustainability of Cumbria, to build back better, and create a greener future. 

On this page

  1. About the Fund
  2. Indicative Projects
  3. Top Tips
  4. Case Studies
  5. Application Process
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. State Aid Notice
  8. Data Protection and Freedom of Information
  9. Contact Us
  10. About Low Carbon Lake District

Organisational Eligibility and Indicative Projects

To be eligible you must:

  1. Agree for us to hold and share your information. 
  2. Be an SME 
    • No. of employees less than 250  
    • Turnover (less than €50m, approx. £46m) or Balance Sheet (less than €43m, approx. £39m)  
    • Is more than 25% of the business owned by another company / group (some exemptions e.g. VC) If Yes to the above, do the consolidated accounts of the parent co still meet the SME thresholds or other do other exemptions apply?  (If Yes then eligible for support) 
    • Or a constituted community group, please get in touch [email protected] to find out more 
  3. Be an Eligible sector  
    • Restrictions apply to agriculture, fisheries, retail, synthetic fibres, shipbuilding, steel, public services, school age education, nuclear, banking and insurance.
  4. Be below the De Minimis threshold 
    • Under the De Minimis exemption an undertaking can receive up to €200,000 (approx.. £184,000) of State Aid in a rolling three year period, i.e. the current financial year and the two previous years.  (€100,000 for undertakings in the road transport sector). 


We will assess projects based on potential carbon savings per £ invested.

Examples of types of project we might fund include: 

  • Low Carbon energy generation such as Solar Photo Voltaic, Solar Thermal, Biomass, Anaerobic digestion, Small hydro power, and Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps 
  • Energy efficiency projects such as Variable Speed drives, Voltage optimisation, Infrared Heating, LED lighting, and upgrading to efficient appliances. 
  • Sustainable transport such as Vehicle Charging Points and e-cargo bikes 
  • AI and smart technology, such as smart food waste bins 

Contact Us

To find out more, or to discuss the eligibility of your organisation or project, please get in touch with a member of our team. 

Call: 01539 822622

Email: [email protected]  

Top Tip

Calculating Your Carbon Footprint will help you to decide where to focus your efforts. If you haven’t already calculated your Carbon Footprint you could try: 

Application Process

We are an ethical funder and we will strive to make sure that the process is transparent and fair. To apply to this fund:

  1. Download and complete the State Aid Declaration here, you will need to upload this completed declaration at the next step.
  2. Complete an online Registration Form. You can save your application and return at a later time.
  3. Your registration form will be reviewed within 10 days of receipt and you will be notified of the decision by email within 5 working days of decision. 
  4. If your organisation is eligible, you will be invited to complete an Expression of Interest Form for pre-application assessment.
  5. Your EOI will be reviewed within 10 days of receipt and you will be notified of the decision by email within 5 working days of decision. 
  6. If your project meets the pre-application criteria we will invite you to complete an application form.
  7. Your application will be reviewed within 30 days of receipt and you will be notified of the decision in writing by email within 5 working days of decision. 
  8. If you are successful, you will be sent a grant offer letter including a grant agreement and a payment schedule. The grant offer will be time limited and you will be required to sign and return a copy of the offer. Please note that the funds will only be paid upon project completion. 
  9. If you are unsuccessful, we will provide feedback and suggest other sources of funding and support where possible. 

Case Studies

We are building a bank of case studies of other businesses and community groups that have successfully implemented low carbon projects locally. 

If you would like to see a case study about your business or group featured here please contact [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

How much funding can I apply for?

If eligible, the LDF can award up to 60% of the cost of the project up to £20,000 per organisation/project, paid in arrears on project completion.

Which sectors are eligible?

A wide range of sectors are eligible, within EU restrictions (primary agriculture and fishing are excluded, but please get in touch to discuss as some diversified areas of farming for example may be eligible 

Do I need to be ready to start my project now?

You will need to be ready to start your project within 6 months of and offer being made, and completed within 12 months, or by March 2023 latest 

I am based in Cumbria, but not the Lake District National Park, can I still apply?

If you can demonstrate that your project has an impact within the National Park you may still be eligible, please get in touch to discuss. 

Does Covid-19 related support count towards de minimis state aid?

At the moment, we understand that Covid-19 related support such as the furlough job retention scheme will not count towards de minimis state aid.

Can my organisation receive funding for more than one project?

At the moment, we are limiting the scheme to one project per organisation.

You may submit more than one EOI form, and if eligible we will ask you to choose just one project to take through to full application stage.

We may invite you to submit an application for another project later in the year, but for now the fund is limited to one project per organisation.

State Aid Notice

In order to avoid public funding distorting competition within the European common market, the European Commission sets limits on the levels of assistance which the public sector can provide to businesses (“the state aid rules”).   

The assistance provided to you through this scheme will comply with the state aid rules by applying De Minimis Exemption, EC Regulation 1407/2013 (24 December 2013) in the first instance, and the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), EC Regulation 651/2014 (17 June 2014) may also be applied.   

Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act Statement 

We need to store your data on our database in order to give you the full assistance under this scheme.  All information given will be held for a period of 7 years and only used in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations 2016.  As a requirement of our grant funding, we will need to share your information with our funding providers, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the European Court of Auditors, the European Commission Auditors and the National Audit Office (and if required to their auditors). It may be necessary to share your information within the Low Carbon Lake District project partnership which includes your Local Authority, in order to offer the full support service.  

Whilst we will use our best endeavours to ensure that commercially sensitive information remains confidential, you should be aware that some information relating to this public funded project may be declared to third parties under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

When submitting an application, you will be asked to acknowledge your agreement for us to hold and share your information. Please note that if you do not agree to us sharing your information, we will be unable to offer you full assistance under the scheme.

About Low Carbon Lake District

This project is supported by the European Structural Investment Fund as part of the Low Carbon Lake District Project.  

The Low Carbon Lake District initiative is a comprehensive programme to help tackle climate change in the National Park, working in partnership with local businesses and communities to reduce greenhouse gases and prepare for the impacts of climate change. Led by the Lake District National Park Authority, other key partners include the Lake District Foundation, the National Trust, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria Tourism.

The project has received funding from the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014- 2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) are the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/europeangrowth-funding

The Northern Powerhouse is a key aspect of this Government’s approach to addressing the productivity gap in the North and ensuring a stronger, more sustainable economy for all parts of the UK. Alongside over €1.5 billion of European Regional Development Fund support for businesses and communities across the North, the government has awarded £3.4 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Northern Powerhouse.

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