The Westmorland & Furness Green Enterprise Hub, a resource centre aimed at assisting businesses and social enterprises in planning for a more sustainable future, has been launched.

The hub offers initial guidance about potential ways to reduce carbon footprints and on the various free and subsidised assistance options that would be most helpful to them.

Led by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) as part of an innovative delivery partnership, the Green Enterprise Hub has received financial backing worth £571,359 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

It serves various industry sectors, including third sector, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and transport.

As part of the services, organisations can get free or subsidised tailored advice, training and support, and even apply for grants of up to £10,000 to facilitate the transition to low carbon practices.

CAfS’ programme manager Molly Hogg said: "It is so important that we all play our role in helping to contribute positively to tackle the climate emergency.

"The Green Enterprise Hub is a fantastic opportunity to empower businesses and social enterprises to make the right choices, helping to unlock the benefits of a cleaner and greener future."

A series of online and face-to-face training, peer support and drop-in opportunities have been planned for January and February.

Prospective participants can book these sessions online via the Green Enterprise Hub website.

The head of business support at Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Lesley Robinson, said: "We are very excited to launch the new grant scheme as part of the hub, enabling local businesses to act on the Hub’s advice and take steps towards decarbonisation.

"It’s fantastic news that there’s been such an interest in these grants already and we are delighted to be able to support local organisations to deliver low carbon projects."

A variety of projects may be financed through the grants.

These include refurbishments related to improving the thermal fabric of buildings, renewable energy technologies, and equipment to transition from fossil-fuels.

Organisations can also apply for grants for activities like training and research.

The hub can be reached via telephone, with any queries, and on March 7 at 5.30pm-8pm, the team will be present to answer questions at the first in a series of networking events at Kendal Town Hall.

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