At a regional level the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is leading the fight to help businesses and organisations become more energy efficient. Its Energy for Growth strategy aims to ‘drive economic growth in the North East while also bringing sector partners together to deliver at scale on national energy strategy’. The strategy identifies themes where the North East can both contribute to national policy and bring more and better jobs to the region, ranging from low-emission transport to heat networks, and geothermal energy from old mines.
Through the North East Growth Hub, it also has funding available for businesses and organisations which operate within the energy sector. These include:
- The Rural Community Energy Fund (a national funding programme), which has two key strands:
- Communities – those in the early stages of exploring renewable energy could access up to £40,000 of grant funding to cover consultancy and professional costs.
- Planning – up to £100,000 is available to look at creating full business cases for projects that stand a good chance of securing planning permission and being delivered.
The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is also open to applications and Registered Social Landlords with rural housing stock are invited to apply. The fund offers grants of up to £40,000 to determine the technical feasibility of community scale renewable energy projects.