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Grants and loans to fund your business sustainability projects

Finance & Funding

Grants and loans to fund your business sustainability projects

Key learnings

  • Funding is available to help your business reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.  
  • Some schemes are dedicated to low carbon projects, but it is worth checking general business growth schemes too, as they may cover large capital investment projects that help your business to reduce carbon emissions. 
  • There are several local schemes available that state a closing date or until the funds are spent, so it is best to apply early. 
  • Sign up to your Local Enterprise Partnership and local council business service newsletters to stay informed about new local schemes. 

For business leaders, the pressure to measure and publish plans to meet net zero targets is intensifying. If you’re leading a business, you know you need to take action, but may be wondering how you can fund the changes you need to make. Green funding opportunities can be short-lived and change frequently, so in this article we have outlined some longer-lasting national and regional schemes, and shared resources and tips to help you stay informed about arising local opportunities. 

Click on a heading to read more about the scheme.  

1

Barclays Green Loans

Providing loans of £25,001 or more, Barclays Green Loans can support your business with funding for a wide range of green and environmental projects. 

Key features: 

  • A diverse range of projects are supported, so there’s a good chance yours will be eligible if it is around energy efficiency, renewable energy, green transport, sustainable food, agriculture and forestry, waste management, or greenhouse gas emission reduction. 
  • You can borrow from £25,0001 to £5m to fund your green project, repayable over one to 20 years. 
  • Choose what’s right for your business with agreed terms with a choice of fixed or floating interest rates, and capital repayment holidays if you need them. 

Eligibility: Available to SMEs for sustainable green projects. See the website for full details. 

2

Green Business Loan Scheme - Wales

The Green Business Loan Scheme provides green business loans from £1,000 to £1.5m. It is delivered in partnership with the Development Bank of Wales to help Welsh businesses to reduce carbon emissions and save money on future energy bills.  
 
Key features: 

  • Access fully funded and part-funded consultancy support to help you understand your business’s path to decarbonisation.  
  • Save money with discounted fixed interest rates for energy efficiency measures and low-carbon heat installations. 
  • Patient capital, which means it is a long-term loan with no expectation of quick payback – you can get upfront capital repayment holidays and a loan term linked to project payback. 

 
Eligibility: Available to businesses based in Wales that have been trading for two years or more, with at least one set of filed accounts. See the website for full details.  

3

Green New Deal Fund - North of Tyne Combined Authority

Covering projects based in Newcastle City, Northumberland and North Tyneside local authorities, the Green New Deal Fund (GNDF) is an investment fund that offers loans, equity, grants or a combination of these to support low carbon projects and help organisations to create jobs and boost skills in the green economy. 

Key features: 

  • Open to a wide range of projects including decentralised energy, heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency, small scale renewable energy generation, local energy systems, low carbon transport and natural capital. 
  • Available to SMEs and public sector organisations, investment can range from £200,000 to £2m, and may be a combination of loan, equity and grant funding. 
  • GNDF can fund up to 50% of the capital cost of a project or provide 50% of any growth funding to an SME.  

The fund is delivered by the North of Tyne Combined Authority in partnership with Amber Infrastructure.   
 
Eligibility: Available to established SMEs, Energy Services Companies, Special Purpose Vehicles, community schemes and public sector organisations. The fund requires project level match and the team can help with securing competitive project match funding from commercial banks, or can use the project's own source of funding. See the website for full details. 
 
Closing date: October 2025 

4

Green Business Grants - West of England Combined Authority Area

Available to SMEs based in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol or South Gloucestershire local authority areas, Green Business Grants are designed to help with the purchase and installation of new products and equipment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut utility costs and improve energy efficiency.  

Key features: 

  • You can apply for £500 to £15,000 to cover between 30% and 60% of eligible capital costs of purchase and installation. 
  • The grant is non-repayable, but you must pay for the project costs first, complete the project and claim the awarded costs back within six months.  
  • As part of the grant application process, you will be offered a free Carbon Survey and advice assessment, to calculate estimated savings and verify that the project is worthwhile. 

Eligibility: You must be a legal entity such as a limited company, limited liability partnership, cooperative or registered charity with fewer than 249 employees. Your trading address must be in the Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol or South Gloucestershire local authority areas.  

You will need to provide suitable match funding for your project and have completed an independent energy or carbon assessment that recommends the project you are applying for the grant for. See the website for full details. 
 
Closing date: March 2025, but grants are available first come, first served. 

New schemes are being announced regularly and some may only be available for a short time, while others may be first come, first served until all the funding is claimed.   

In addition to considering whether any of the above schemes could support your plans, you can keep checking on the following websites for new schemes for your area or industry: 

  • UK Government Green Funding Finder – an online portal with details of current and past funds to help UK businesses become greener, invest in new technologies, and make energy efficiency improvements towards achieving net-zero emissions.  
  • Grant Finder – a database of energy grants and funding that provides details of a selection free for all visitors – more are available through subscription, as well as alerts.  
  • UMi Funding & Grants Finder – a regularly updated list of grants and finance across a range of sectors and types including sustainability, organised by geography. 
  • Local council business services - find your local council and sign up for newsletters from their business service, which should alert you to new schemes. 

Next steps… 

  • If you’re not sure which areas of your business activities to tackle to reduce emissions, read how to reduce the carbon footprint of your business. 
  • Measure your carbon footprint by answering a few questions, get tailored actions and start building a plan to reduce your emissions from Carbon Planner by NatWest. 
  • Use your measurements and plan to guide you in which of the funding schemes will be most relevant for you, then visit the scheme website to check your eligibility and start an application. 
  • For support with writing your grant application, check out our Get Grant Ready service. 
  • If you haven’t already, sign up to your local council business newsletters to stay informed about new schemes. 
  • Schedule some regular time to check for other national, local and sector-based schemes you might have missed. 

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