Green entrepreneurs fund

Financial support offered for Derbyshire residents to retrain for alternative energy sector

A unique opportunity to retrain in the field of alternative energy has opened up in Chesterfield and Derbyshire with the launch of the County Council’s Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Scheme.

The local authority has set aside a £100,000 fund offering grants of up to £1,500 to help Derbyshire residents learn new skills in the alternative energy industry.

It’s part of the wider Green Entrepreneurs Programme which is funded by the council and run in partnership with the University of Derby to help support green economic recovery across Derbyshire.

The leader of Derbyshire County Council, Barry Lewis added: “We’ve had a positive response to the Green Entrepreneurs Fund so far from businesses looking for financial support to help turn game changing proposals to help tackle climate change into reality.

“As well as helping to reduce Derbyshire’s carbon emissions in the future, by helping these projects get off the ground we’re bringing wider benefits to local communities and local economic conditions to create high quality jobs driven by utilising the local skills base in engineering and manufacturing.

“We’re looking forward to announcing the successful applicants soon for funding announced so far, as well as opening up applications for our new Scholarship Fund which will help to skill-up the alternative energy workforce of tomorrow.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “It is vital that we all play our part in helping the UK to achieve its net zero targets and the appetite within Derbyshire to meet this challenge head-on is hugely encouraging.

“It is not just about providing financial support, however, but enabling people to develop their skillset to deliver the change we need.

“As a university, empowering people with the knowledge and ability to have a positive impact on our economy and society is central to our purpose. We therefore welcome the launch of the Scholarship Scheme, which will help employees within our SME sector to make important contributions to carbon reduction and equip them with highly-valued skills.”

Find out more information about the Green Entrepreneurs Programme including application forms, timetable for grant funding and eligibility criteria at: https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/business/green-entrepreneurs-fund/green-entrepreneurs-fund.aspx

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Promising response to Green Entrepreneurs Scheme from Derbyshire businesses

More than 130 people from businesses and community groups across Derbyshire joined the virtual launch of Derbyshire County Council’s Green Entrepreneurs Fund – a £2 million grant fund for organisations interested in developing and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes.

Businesses and organisations heard details about how they can apply for funding through the scheme being run in partnership with the University of Derby to help support green economic recovery across Derbyshire.

There are 3 separate funds:

Green Entrepreneurs Demonstrator Fund
£1.2 million set aside for a small number of high-quality projects from entrepreneurs wanting to establish green, alternative energy or low carbon initiatives in Derbyshire to provide community heat and power schemes. The minimum grant available through this fund would be £100,000. Applications for expressions of interest will open 1 April 2021.

Green Entrepreneurs Small Grant Fund
Grants of £10,000 – £20,000 for new and existing businesses with game changing proposals in alternative energy, clean fuel and carbon reduction. £500,000 will be made available through this fund. There will be 3 separate rounds in which to apply for funding – the first will launch on 1 April 2021 followed by further rounds opening on 4 October 2021 and then 3 January 2022.

Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Fund
A training fund to support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of alternative energy. £100,000 will be made available through this fund. Grants will be awarded monthly from July 2021 onwards.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis added:

“We’re championing business innovation and want Derbyshire to become a leader in the field in the development of green energy as part of our bold ambition to cut the council’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2032 and that of the Derbyshire economy by 2050.

“We believe there is a unique opportunity to bring greater benefits to local communities and the local economic conditions to create high quality jobs driven by utilising the local skills base in engineering and manufacturing.

“We’re excited to be able to offer businesses the financial support needed to help turn their ideas into reality, through game changing proposals that help to tackle climate change and impact positively on the way we all live in the future both in Derbyshire and further afield.”

Councillor Tony King, Cabinet member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, said:

“We’ve had an unbelievable response to the scheme so far from businesses and community organisations across Derbyshire.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the applications start to come in with proposals for projects to kick-start the county’s carbon reduction and alternative energy agenda and boost the local economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would urge anyone who was unable to join the virtual launch to visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/gef to find out more.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:

“I am delighted that the Green Entrepreneur launch was such a success. It is really encouraging to see so much interest and enthusiasm from local businesses in taking up opportunities like this to operate more sustainably and to make a real contribution towards reducing their carbon footprint.

“We look forward now to working with the county council to deliver the scheme to our entrepreneur community, and to make Derbyshire synonymous with sustainable business.”

Find more information about the programme including application forms, timetable for grant funding and eligibility criteria.

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