East Anglia: Low Carbon Innovation Fund reaches out to smaller firms

The filming of the production of Peter Grimes on the beach at Aldeburgh.

The filming of the production of Peter Grimes on the beach at Aldeburgh. - Credit: Archant

A funding organisation has lowered the minimum amount it can lend to encourage small businesses to go green.

The Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) is now offering investments starting from £10,000 to businesses with an interest in growing sustainably.

LCIF, which is part of the Adapt Low Carbon Group and is based at the University of East Anglia, has already invested millions into entrepreneurial projects and businesses with a “green” edge. Recent projects include the UK’s first ever low carbon feature film, Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach, by Suffolk-based Genesius Pictures Ltd.

Since it started in 2010, £43m has been injected into East of England businesses, supporting new jobs and the local economy. The fund is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by the merchant bank Turquoise International.

“The green venture capital scheme has lowered its funding threshold from £25k to £10k as many businesses are looking for relatively modest amounts of investment,” said LCIF’s project officer, Sam Burton.

“The £10k investment opportunity will open more doors for small businesses, start-ups and graduates who are stuck for investment. They have great ideas and can now make it happen with this funding boost.”

To qualify for funding businesses need to be small companies based in the east who have a low carbon initiative. They also need to match fund any investment. Feedback suggests creative companies in the region will be particularly interested in LCIF’s smaller investments, including designers, app and software developers, and production houses.

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John Marshall, international trade advisor at UK Trade & Investment in the East of England said the fund could also attract new businesses into the region.

He said: “Businesses based outside of the East of England could be eligible for funding if they open up a second office or have an operational base here. I see LCIF as playing a role in helping grow the region’s economy ”

: : Visit www.lowcarbonfund.co.uk to find out more about the fund.