Horsham District Council has launched a new guidance video to help local businesses develop their climate-friendly business plans.
The video takes businesses through how to prepare a strong business case to apply for the Council’s new upcoming ‘Green LEAP’ Small Business Grant Scheme, which will be open for applications from 2 to 30 April.
Green LEAP will be an exciting extension to the Council’s popular ongoing LEAP grant scheme, with a fresh focus on supporting start-up and small business projects which seek to combat climate change. Through Green LEAP, grants of up to £5,000 will be available to fund or part-fund climate-friendly business projects. Grants of up to £2,000 may be considered for other projects, subject to funding.
Horsham District businesses are encouraged to begin reviewing their business plans now, as they will be required to submit one as part of their grant application.
To help businesses understand what is required, the ‘How to write your business plan’ video is available to watch now for free on the West Sussex Business Hub. This can be accessed via the Council’s website: www.horsham.gov.uk/leap
The Council has funded a wide range of local business projects across the District in the past, including those which have enabled businesses to make progress on their climate journeys.
One example of a recent green business project comes from Jacob’s Bagels near Pulborough. They received a grant towards solar panels for their business through the Council’s allocation of UK Government Rural England Prosperity Funding.
Business owner Tino commented: “Caring for the environment is our core mission, and to reinforce this commitment, we sought and secured a grant to support the installation of solar panels. The solar panels power not only our ovens but also our mixers and virtually every electrical appliance in the bakery. This initiative has significantly reduced our carbon footprint, resulting in a noteworthy reduction of 1535.5 kilograms in our carbon emissions to date. At Jacob's Bagels, sustainability isn't just a goal; it's a tangible achievement we're proud to share.”
Green LEAP will invite applications for a broad range of climate-friendly projects, such as renewable energy solutions, switching to LED lighting and creating space for nature in the workplace. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate in their business plan how their Green LEAP project will be connected to achieving their ambitions.
Commenting on this new support for businesses, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Nature Recovery Cllr Colette Blackburn said:
“This support forms part of the Council’s recognition of the vital role businesses play in enabling Horsham District to collectively transition to net zero by 2050, as part of the Council’s proposed Climate Action Strategy.
“We received some useful feedback from businesses through our recent Business Climate Action Survey, which helped identify that business planning advice and grant funding will be key in supporting them to achieve their climate ambitions.”
Cllr Ruth Fletcher, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for the Local Economy and Place, added: “If you have a business in Horsham District and have ambitions for it to become greener, check your eligibility for funding and consider applying early for this fantastic grant. We have a new video to help you with the business plan you need.”
The first round of Green LEAP funding opens to applications on Tuesday 2 April 2024 and will close on Tuesday 30 April 2024. A second round will be launched in June. Find out more about eligibility requirements, the application process and how to access the business planning video on the Council website: www.horsham.gov.uk/leap
To stay up to date on when Green LEAP funding opens, sign up to the Council’s fortnightly Business Support e-Newsletter: https://www.horsham.gov.uk/business
Green LEAP has received £60,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The grant scheme is called the Green Local Enterprise and Apprenticeship Platform (LEAP) Small Business Grant Scheme and is part-funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.