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Our Business Support Spotlight series highlights the wealth of support listed on Boost’s Support Hub and available to Lancashire businesses.

Today’s spotlight shines on UCLan’s MaCaW Project.

How do you help Lancashire businesses?

The MaCaW (Making Carbon Work) Project is here to help Lancashire SMEs to reduce their carbon footprint, save money on energy costs and provide grant funding to purchase low carbon technology. The project team will provide a thorough energy audit and carbon assessment of a business, provide recommendations on how the business can reduce their carbon footprint and have grant funding available (matched at 50% up to £15,000) for the purchase of low carbon technology such as solar panels and LED lighting.

Why do Lancashire businesses need your support?

The UK Government have made it clear that they are taking climate change seriously and have set ambitious carbon reduction targets for the nation. With incentives on offer for businesses to adopt low carbon practices, now is the time to act before legislation and taxes are brought in to force the hands of business owners.

There is no doubt that the world is facing a climate emergency and the general population are now waking up to this, leading to a desire for low carbon products and services as well as the expectation that manufacturers are using low carbon practices to manufacture products. This, in turn, is already leading to low carbon requirements in procurement tenders which are only likely to expand in the future.

The MaCaW Project offers expert environmental consultancy completely free of charge to Lancashire SMEs, as well as offering grant funding to purchase low carbon technology. Now is the time to take advantage of this free support and funding to give yourself a competitive advantage whilst also reducing rocketing energy bills.

How are you helping Lancashire businesses overcome the economic challenges of coronavirus?

Whilst there is a clear ethical reason for reducing your carbon footprint, there are also clear financial reasons. The MaCaW Project will identify a number of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint for little or no cost and the vast majority of these will result in financial savings too through reduced energy bills, lower waste costs, the reuse of materials and reduced transport costs. This, in turn will lead to a more stable financial position for your business.

Further to that, the reputational benefits as well as strengthened tenders will allow you to win more contracts and therefore further strengthen your business resilience for years to come.

What are the other key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?

One of the key challenges we are seeing in our field are available cash flow to invest in technology for the business. We understand that SMEs are reluctant to make large financial commitments in an uncertain market which is why the MaCaW Project’s match funded grants are really helping SMEs to lessen that risk. The project offers 50% of the total project cost, up to a maximum of £15,000 for the purchase of low carbon technology, meaning payback periods of just one to two years in some cases.

One of the other challenges for SMEs at the moment is finding time to commit to environmental projects. Fortunately, the MaCaW Project team take that hassle away and do all of the work for you – all you need to do is provide some background information such as energy bills and the project team do the rest.

What’s the future for the Lancashire economy?

The future of the Lancashire economy is bright. We have a wealth of excellent businesses across the county and a supportive business support structure which ensures support is at hand for everyone. The flexibility of businesses across the county has been outstanding during the Coronavirus pandemic and many of our businesses have thrived.

There is a great work ethic in the county which will shine through as restrictions start to be lifted and our businesses will thrive.

There is also an excellent green technology sector and a rising appetite for low carbon working across the county. We have some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK and our residents really appreciate that which translates in the passion people have for sustainable living.

The future’s bright, the future’s green!

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