Multimillion-pound support to help businesses go green

The Mayor’s Business Sustainability Support will help small and medium-sized businesses cut their energy use.

03 July 2023

Businesses hit hard by inflation and the climate crisis will benefit from new support being launched today by West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin.

The Mayor’s Business Sustainability Support will help small and medium-sized businesses cut their energy use and combat the effects of climate change.

 The West Yorkshire Combined Authority will work with interested businesses to develop and implement new sustainability plans, aimed at slashing energy bills and boosting resilience against rising temperatures, supply chain issues and flooding.

 Following a free assessment of the firm’s environmental impact, these bespoke plans will recommend various workplace adaptations, such as lighting that is more energy efficient, measures that cut down on waste, or equipment that harnesses cheap, clean and renewable energy, including solar panels.

 Advice will then be offered on how to deliver the plan, secure public and private investment, and make sustainable changes to ensure annual energy bill savings long into the future.

 Mayor Tracy Brabin said the new support will be a ‘gamechanger’ in the region’s fight to become a more resilient, Net Zero carbon economy by 2038. The £10 million fund comes after the Mayor’s recent launch of the West Yorkshire Plan, which commits to building a greener, more vibrant West Yorkshire that works for all.

 Commenting on the scheme, Mayor Tracy Brabin said: 

“As the cost of living and energy crisis continues, it’s vital we step up support for our hardest hit businesses, helping them keep down costs, protect jobs and stay afloat during this difficult time.

 “This new, £10 million scheme will help us deliver a greener West Yorkshire by slashing the carbon footprint of our small and medium-sized businesses, while futureproofing them against the harmful effects of climate change. 

“As we transition to a net zero carbon economy by 2038, we’re determined to ensure that no business is left behind, as we work to make positive, greener changes that benefit all our communities across the region."

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Business, Economy and Innovation Committee, said:

“I’m delighted we’re able to provide support of this quality to individuals and businesses who have the potential to drive forward their innovative ideas.

 “Equipping the entrepreneurs of West Yorkshire with the skills they need to succeed will not just improve their personal circumstances. It will boost our regional economy through the creation of more high-skilled jobs and greater inward investment.

 “We’re building a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire where everyone can reach their full potential, and that includes our brilliant entrepreneurs with local solutions to global challenges.”

The scheme will build on previous sustainability support through the Mayor’s Resource Efficient Business programme, which helped 360 West Yorkshire businesses save an average of £11,500 per year on their energy bills.

Lowe Engineering Limited, a Leeds-based power plant equipment supplier, received £5,000 of grant investment from the Mayor last year. The funding was used to fit the warehouse and offices with modern LED lighting, to help save the business up to £2,000 per year.

 Speaking about his experience, Operations Director Graeme Walker, said:

“Improving the lighting throughout our premises had been on our “to do” list for some time but, due to the large initial expenses and slow cost-saving recovery, it was always at the back of the queue when it came to annual building repairs and improvements.  

“However, with the onset of higher energy prices coupled with the Mayor’s support, we were encouraged to install LED lighting throughout the building, and recovered our 50% of the expenses within a short period of time.

“It is safe to say that without the scheme in place, this improvement would still be on the “to do” list.”

Businesses are encouraged to find out more about the support on our Sustainability webpage.