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Low Carbon Lake District Grants

Supporting community group and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint

Second Round closed for registrations on Thursday 14th October 2021 5:00PM

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About the Fund

As we recover from the Covid crisis, we need to be ready to face the environmental challenges ahead. Thanks to support from the European Regional Development 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 £600,000 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 organisation will need to either operate primarily within the Lake District National Park  

Qualifying groups and businesses will be awarded up to 60% of project costs, and all projects will need to be completed by March 2023. State Aid Rules will apply.

Total project costs (before VAT) should be below £25,000.

For projects over £25,000 significant procurement rules and restrictions will apply, please contact us via [email protected] to discuss.

You will need to acknowledge the funder for any support received, find out more here.

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

Organisational Eligibility

To be eligible you must:

  1. Agree for us to hold and share your information. 
  2. Be a constituted community group or an SME defined as: 
    • No. of employees less than 250  
    • Turnover less than €50m, (approx. £46m) or Balance Sheet less than €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 thresholds
  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 
    • 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 from the Lake District Foundation 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.
  5. At the moment we can only accept registrations from projects within the Lake District National Park.

Top Tip

Calculating your organisational carbon footprint will help you to decide where to focus your efforts. 

Here are some free online tools to 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.
  3. Your registration form will be reviewed within 30 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 30 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. If your project is over £25,000 ex VAT, you will need to also submit a Procurement Evidence Form – find out what’s involved here.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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 grant will only be paid upon project completion and upon receipt of a Project Monitoring Form. 
  10. If you are unsuccessful, we will provide feedback and suggest other sources of funding and support where possible. 

Case Studies

Take a look at some recently funded projects, addressing carbon footprint challenges in local organisations:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much funding can I apply for?

If successful, you may receive up to 60% of the cost of the project, paid in arrears on project completion. Projects should cost under £25,000 before VAT. If your project will cost over £25,000 significant procurement rules will apply, please talk to us before applying.

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 a significant  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?

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, a Temporary Framework raised the de minimis threshold to €800,000 for grants made between 19 March 2020 and 30 June 2021 that address the sudden shortage or unavailability of finance arising from the Coronavirus outbreak. Support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or “Furlough”) is non-aid and does not count against De Minimis, therefore you do not need to tell us about support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  Other Coronavirus related grants may or may not count towards De Minimis. If you are in doubt as to which scheme previous assistance or funding falls under, please check with the provider. 

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.

Contact Us

For support with your application please email: [email protected]  

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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