Funding to help Cumbrian businesses and community groups go green in a post-pandemic world will be unveiled tomorrow Thursday 23 September, to coincide with Climate Action Day.

 The Low Carbon Lake District initiative is opening round 2 of its Grants Scheme to help organisations introduce measures that reduce carbon emissions.  It’s 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.

 The Low Carbon Lake District Grants Scheme is open to a range of industry sectors, including hospitality, manufacturing, retail and transport. It is being led by the Lake District Foundation as part of Low Carbon Lake District, with support from the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Examples of projects that may be funded include:

  • Low carbon energy use and generation, such as solar photo voltaic, solar thermal, biomass, anaerobic digestion, small hydro power, ground and air source heat pumps.
  • Energy efficiency projects, including variable speed drives, voltage optimisation, infrared heating, LED lighting and upgrading to efficient appliances.

Examples of organisations already supported through round one of the scheme earlier this year include Levens Village Shop, which was awarded a grant to install an energy efficient refrigeration system. Meanwhile, Rookhow Quaker Meeting House in the Rusland Valley was awarded a grant to install an air source heat pump and loft insulation to improve the comfort levels in the building while reducing the carbon footprint.

Development Manager at Rookhow, Sue Nicholls, says, “There is a real – and vital – focus on sustainability right now and lots of expertise out there for organisations like ours in Cumbria, so I would strongly urge others to investigate the funding currently available through the Low Carbon Lake District Grants Scheme.

 “The support we have received is helping to create a ‘living space’ for future generations and has come at just the right time for us. These changes will help preserve this historic building and make it much more usable and comfortable for a range of community groups.”

Sarah Swindley, CEO of the Lake District Foundation, adds: “We are very excited to launch round two of this grants scheme, supporting Lake District businesses to take steps towards net zero. It’s fantastic news that there’s been such a great take up with these grants already and we are delighted to be able to support local organisations to deliver low carbon projects. The Grants Scheme can support SMEs and community groups across a wide range of sectors and we look forward to assessing the next round of projects.”

The Lake District National Park Authority’s Low Carbon Lake District Coordinator, Danny Coward, comments: “It is so important that we all play our role in helping to contribute positively to tackle climate change. The ESIF grant scheme is a fantastic opportunity to help businesses and community groups make the right choice, helping create a pathway to a cleaner and greener, net zero future.”

Registrations for the Low Carbon Lake District Grants Scheme will be open HERE from 9am on Thursday 23 September until 5pm on Thursday 14 October.

The Low Carbon Lake District team will be on hand at the ‘Ambleside to Zero’ event on 23 September to answer any questions about the scheme.

Organisations can also sign up to a free webinar HERE the following Thursday, 30 September, where a member of the LDF team will explain more about the fund and how to apply, presentations from previous grant recipients and a grant scheme Q&A.

All applicants will be assessed by the Lake District Foundation at the initial concept stage to check they are eligible to take part.  Projects requiring design or feasibility support are not eligible for funding support, but Low Carbon Lake District may be able to identify alternative funding or support for these earlier stage environmental projects.



Notes to Editors:

The Low Carbon Lake District initiative is a comprehensive programme to help tackle climate change in the National Park, working in partnership with local businesses and communities to reduce greenhouse gases and prepare for the impacts of climate change. Led by the Lake District National Park Authority, other key partners include the Lake District Foundation, the National Trust, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria Tourism.

Low Carbon Lake District has received funding from the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) are the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit:

The Northern Powerhouse is a key aspect of this Government’s approach to addressing the productivity gap in the North and ensuring a stronger, more sustainable economy for all parts of the UK. Alongside over €1.5 billion of European Regional Development Fund support for businesses and communities across the North, the government has awarded £3.4 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Northern Powerhouse.

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