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£3.4million to help South Yorkshire businesses reduce their carbon footprint

A drone shot of Sheffield city centre with a graphic over the top which says CO2 with a downward arrow.

Businesses in South Yorkshire will benefit from a £3.4million investment to help them reduce their carbon emissions, improve resilience, and protect jobs.

Running until March 2025, the project will provide support to 260 small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham to help them understand the opportunities available to reduce their carbon footprint.

Businesses will benefit from a free energy audit to identify potential energy saving improvements such as low-energy lighting systems or insulation. Delivered by South Yorkshire’s local authorities, the project is part funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s Shared Prosperity Fund allocation.

Low carbon grants are also available to help businesses invest in solutions to reduce their energy consumption and costs, helping them to become more productive, resilient, and environmentally friendly.

As part of the package of support available, specialist advisors will provide comprehensive advice and support throughout the process.

Karen Sherwood is the founder and owner of Cupola Contemporary Art in Sheffield. She benefited from funding to help her save on energy costs, in particular heating and lighting. She was supported to lower ceilings, install insulation and motion sensor lighting, and upgrade the boiler. This helped Karen reduce her energy usage, improve the customer experience and demonstrate commitment to reducing her carbon footprint.

Karen said: “The Low Carbon Advisor was personable, honest and responsive to my questions. I felt I was talking to somebody who understood what I might not know. They did what they said they were going to do when they said they were going to do it. Without support and match funding, I wouldn’t have been able to implement the same programme of improvements.”

Councillor Martin Smith, Chair of the Economic Development and Skills Committee said: “We know many business owners want to reduce energy costs and do their bit for the planet but it can be difficult to plan how to reduce your carbon footprint and find the money to pay for carbon saving measures.

“Specialist advisors will help businesses identify where they can make changes that save budgets and tackle the climate crisis. Low carbon grants will bring ideas into action and give businesses the financial support they need to make changes that will reduce energy costs and carbon emissions whilst improving efficiency and resilience.

“This scheme will give owners the confidence and support they need to make sustainable changes to their business, something that is crucial if we are to look after our planet and let business thrive.”

At Ashton Seals in Barnsley, new LED lighting and heating systems reduced electricity bills, improved working conditions and created a better environment for welcoming high-profile customers.

Zoe Fearnley, Managing Director, said: “The energy efficiency audit report was fantastic; it had lots of advice on what we could do differently. It was also good to be able to see what would result in the biggest carbon reduction for us.”

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council , said: “As a council, we are focused on reducing carbon, and this project is a great example of how this can be achieved by working with businesses in our borough thanks to the new project."

“We’re delighted that the Barnsley Business Village will be part of the team delivering this project across Barnsley. They’ve had great success in the past in helping businesses all across Barnsley to reduce their carbon emissions and work towards net zero, so we’re excited to see that continue.”

In Doncaster, the Mount Pleasant Hotel reduced its carbon footprint and energy bills, and created a better experience for guests by removing radiators and rolling out air conditioning in 20 rooms.

Cllr Glyn Jones, Deputy Mayor and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Business, City of Doncaster Council said: “We are always keen to assist our businesses to thrive and grow whilst also helping them be equipped to reduce their carbon emissions.”

“Doncaster is working hard to become greener faster and meet our ambition to become carbon neutral by 2040, with a significant reduction achieved by 2030. Businesses have a big part to play in helping us achieve our goals and this grant offers a real opportunity for businesses to be more environmentally aware and help ensure they are compliant”

In Rotherham, Preformed Windings, who manufacture high-voltage coils, received support to help them replace their lighting with LED lamps and insulation for their cold store. This improved working conditions and created a longer shelf life for materials.

David Beresford, Technical Manager, said: “The quality of support was excellent: the auditor was friendly and patient, and the report detailed the costs of possible changes, the savings that could be made and the payback time of each suggestion. I’m confident that our energy costs now will be less than before we engaged with the programme.”

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “Although the impact of climate change is becoming more openly talked about, not every business has the in-house knowledge to begin their sustainability journey. Fortunately, this scheme will provide businesses across the borough with invaluable access to low carbon advisors, and some of the funds necessary to make eco-friendly changes to the way the business operates that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.”

To find out more, including whether your business is eligible for support, please contact your local business support team:

Business Doncaster

Tel:  01302 735555


Enterprising Barnsley


Rotherham Investment & Development Office

Tel: 01709 331111


Business Sheffield

Tel: 0114 224 5000


About the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The Low Carbon project has received £3,445,606 from the UK Government through the South Yorkshire UK SPF allocation.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a three-year UK Government funding stream that replaces European Structural and Investment Funds. The South Yorkshire UKSPF allocation totals £46.2m. South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) will administer UKSPF for South Yorkshire’s four local authority areas.

The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK, investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit

Sheffield City Council is acting as Accountable Body for the Low Carbon Grant project, on behalf of Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham MBCs.