A FUNDING body in the Lake District which helps businesses go off-grid, has 250,000 of grants to hand out before the summer.

The Energy for Enterprise grants scheme in the North-East is drawing to a close within the next few months, and any left-over money is returned to Brussels. Energy for Enterprise is aimed at installing renewable energy for rural and market town businesses .

One business which has already taken advantage of the scheme is Elite Pet Grooming of Wark. Owner Christine Batey said: Three years ago I moved the business to a smallholding in Wark Forest which had no mains services, and relied on an old diesel generator for power.

With the Energy for Enterprise grant system I was able to install a renewable energy system, comprising a one kilowatt wind turbine and a sixteen panel solar array producing up to another two kilowatts of power.

Energy for Enterprise can give grants of up to 50 per cent for the costs of improving a business’s energy supply.

This could be installing off-grid systems and renewable energy equipment, including wind turbines, solar panels, wood burning boilers and ground source heat systems.

Businesses helped so far include farm diversifications, computer consultancies, quarries, caravan parks, manufacturers, boarding kennels, and tourist accommodation. Neither is working from home a barrier to a grant. Already, 780,000 worth of work has been grant aided.

For more information about grants, telephone Energy for Enterprise on (01670) 516949 or email them at efe@northenergy.co.uk

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