Businesses are encouraged to improve their sustainability and reduce carbon emissions as part of Uttlesford District Council's 'Eco-October' campaign.

The council is providing a £40,000 Low Carbon Workplace Grant to help small businesses take action to reduce their carbon footprint.

As part of the scheme, the council is offering match-funded grants of between £500 and £5,000 that can help fund projects such as LED lighting, solar panels, insulation, modern heating, cooling and refrigeration systems, or ultra-low emission vehicles.

Dunmow Broadcast: Cllr Neil Hargreaves, portfolio holder for finance and the economy.Cllr Neil Hargreaves, portfolio holder for finance and the economy. (Image: UDC)

Funding can also be used to help businesses develop a carbon reduction plan or for carbon literacy training.

A series of lunchtime webinars will be made available for business owners who want to develop their understanding of the issues, with an opportunity to ask questions.

Topics include a simple guide to cutting carbon footprint, reducing use of plastic and digital sustainability.

For details about each individual webinar go to https://business.uttlesford.gov.uk/eco-october.

Fully-funded one-to-one consultancy appointments are available for 10 local businesses that want to reduce their carbon footprint but are unsure where to start.

Each business will receive an hour-long online session, conducted by Zoom, with Lucy Kebble - founder of digital sustainability resource 'The WIP'.

Lucy will look at the specific business and help craft objectives for grant spending and finding low or cost-free solutions that can be applied in addition to, or instead of, grant funding.

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Cllr Neil Hargreaves, portfolio holder for Finance and the Economy, said: "We know many of our small business owners are committed to becoming more sustainable and we want to help them overcome the barriers stopping them from taking action.

"Our small businesses are also telling us that high energy costs are a big concern and through our grant scheme they can not only reduce carbon emissions but save money by installing the latest energy efficient measures."

All of the courses and activities are fully funded by the council for businesses based in the district.

The council is also offering a workplace charging scheme to help businesses cover the cost of electric vehicle charging stations.

Businesses can apply for a Low Carbon Workplace Grant at https://business.uttlesford.gov.uk/low-carbon-workplace-grant.