Businesses face funding lottery

Businesses are facing a postcode lottery when it comes to securing funding for environmental initiatives.

Funding for environmental projects may be easier to access in some parts of the UK than others

Funding for environmental projects may be easier to access in some parts of the UK than others

A survey of more than 150 local and regional funding schemes in England found that the East Midlands is leading the way with a total of 25 sources of funding to help businesses do their bit for the environment.

But businesses in the East and North East of England and - perhaps more surprisingly - in London have access to less than half that number of schemes.

The Green Grants Machine, a website set up by funding experts j4b to help businesses find funding for green projects, carried out the study.

Jeremy Phillips, managing director of j4b's software and publishing division, said the differences could be a result of different funding arrangements.

He told edie: "The way in which some local authorities and Regional Development Agencies deal with it might be to create their own projects or projects that people have to bid for.

"That might be the reason - that they are spending money differently."

But he added: "Smaller businesses are the ones who are more likely to apply for these local schemes, so where there are fewer regional schemes, I suspect that's going to hit smaller organisations more."

There is good news for businesses, however, as there also 97 national, UK or EU funding schemes that English businesses can apply for.

Mr Philips said that businesses could also team up with other businesses in other regions, or tell Government and authorities about the lack of funding arrangements.

"If there are not grants in their area for what they want, they should make it known and that will inform policy going forward," he said.

Companies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have access to 40, 23 and four regional and local environmental funding schemes respectively, as well as 70 UK and EU schemes.

More than 200 sources of funding, from local to European level, are featured on the Green Grants Machine's free online database.

Kate Martin



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