Grants & Funding

The Low Carbon Lake District Grants Scheme has been helping a range of industry sectors, including hospitality, retail and transport. It is a chance for both businesses and community groups to be awarded up to 60% of project costs, making the move to low carbon technologies and practices more affordable.

A number of organisations have already accessed funding to implement energy-saving measures, including:

You can see the case study videos here.

The scheme is being led by the Lake District Foundation as part of Low Carbon Lake District, with support from the European Structural Investment Fund and European Regional Development Fund.

Other local sources of current funding include:

  • Barrow Low Carbon Grants is a two-year scheme funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Cumbria LEP. It will cover two-thirds of the cost of an organisation’s measures to reduce carbon emissions. The measures must be a capital investment and could include LED lighting, alternative heating systems, photovoltaics or building management systems.
  • The Greening Eden Business Scheme is being run by Eden District Council alongside Cumbria Business Environment Network (CBEN). Businesses take an environmental assessment; CBEN then calculates their carbon footprint and offers practical solutions to help reduce emissions. Grants can range from £1,000 to £10,000 to fund capital investments that deliver significant carbon reductions.
  • Eco-I North West is a low carbon innovation project supporting micro, small and medium-sized businesses with research and development around sustainability. It is supported through a collaboration of North West Universities, including the University of Cumbria. Student researcher and academics can provide you with research, knowledge and academic expertise to help drive your business forward.

National funding schemes include:

  • Funding for Electric Vehicles (EV): The Government’s Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) co-ordinates grants to help with upfront costs, while there are discounts on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through plug-in grants’ which are given to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers.You can also apply for grants to install EV charge points in the workplace.
  • The Government’s Cycle to Work scheme enables people to travel to and from work by bike or e-bike, enabling them to spread the cost of a new bike over regular tax-free instalments.
  • The Clean Growth Financing Initiative from Lloyds Bank is a discounted lending scheme which support a range of sustainable business improvements, from small-scale projects through to large-scale renewable energy infrastructure.

Training, Support & Awards

There are a range of advice and training resources to help you on your sustainability journey. Check out upcoming online training for tourism operators on Cumbria Tourism’s events page.

Cumbria Tourism members can also access a free comprehensive Energy Health Check from Enexus Energy to help them make sense of energy issues, reduce their costs and become more green.

Awards and Accreditations

By making use of annual awards and accredited certification schemes, you can provide independent proof of your sustainability credentials to your customers and give yourself a PR platform to share your success.

Look out for the Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism category at the annual Cumbria Tourism Awards.

Quality Cumbria Assessments also include sustainability standards.

Other accreditations include:

  • The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development highlights Britain’s most environmentally responsible businesses. It is awarded to operators who can demonstrate sustainable products, services or interventions for more than two years and provide evidence of the benefits or positive outcomes of their actions and practices.
  • The Green Tourism Awards include Gold, Silver and Bronze accreditations which are recognised worldwide as an indicator of good environmental practices for a variety of accommodation providers, visitor attractions, experience providers and others. Get inspired by the Cumbrian tourism operators taking part in the scheme.
  • Green Key is an internationally recognised accreditation which celebrates environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. Managed in the UK by Keep Britain Tidy, it is awarded each year following a standardised audit and verification process.
  • The WTM Responsible Tourism Awards champion responsible tourism globally, giving businesses the chance to showcase the impact they’re having and what they have achieved. UK businesses fall in the ‘Rest of the World’ region.

Other Useful Resources

CAfs (Cumbria Action for Sustainability)

ECO-I North West

Electricity North West: Measures to Reduce C02 in your Business

Energy Saving Trust

FSB: Going Green in your Business (recorded webinar)

Guardians of Grub: Free Cost Savings Skills Course

Low Carbon Lake District

National Coastal Tourism Academy: Tips for Operating More Sustainably

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

UNESCO: World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Toolkit

United Utilities: Water Saving Advice

Zero Carbon Business


For further information

Contact Reception on
01539 822222 or