Grants help West Suffolk go greener and cut costs

BUSINESSES and other organisations are being encouraged to apply for a share of £40,000 to help them go green.

The West Suffolk Partnership, formerly West Suffolk Local Strategic Partnership, offers grants of up to £1,000 towards the cost of simple steps such as insulation, replacing heating and lighting and installing energy efficient alternatives to existing equipment.

Hazel Pidsley, deputy chair of WSP, said: “We would encourage businesses, charities and not for profit organisations from across west Suffolk to take this fantastic opportunity to not only reduce their environmental impact but also their running costs.

“Making small changes such as improving your insulation or swapping your dated boiler for a new, energy efficient model can bring real financial savings. Our environmental advisors may also be able to advise you of other sources of funding which could help pay for further improvements in the future.”

Andrew Hunter, who runs Bury Physio in Maynewater Lane, Bury St Edmunds, knows the benefits. He applied for a £1,000 greener business grant, under the WSLSP, towards the cost of replacing 20 fluorescent tube lights with low wattage energy efficient LED lighting.

“The grant certainly tipped me into doing the work,” said Mr Hunter. “Although the overall cost of the project was about £2,400, the £1,000 I received in support made the business case for it.

“Previously, the lights used three kilowatts, compared with 400 watts with the LED lights for around the same level of lighting.

“That is a dramatic reduction which will lead to savings for the business, especially as our gym runs from 7am to 8pm, so we have the lights on a lot.

“Altogether I would say this was a pretty successful installation and I’d encourage other businesses to look into taking up the grant offer to help fund their own sustainability projects.”

The grant is open to not for profit organisations, such as parish councils, and to businesses employing up to 250 people in west Suffolk, including those based in Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Brandon, Haverhill, Sudbury, Newmarket and the surrounding villages.

For an application form or more information about the grant scheme, call Andrew Oswald on 01284 757622 or at andrew.oswald@stedsbc.gov.uk