• Kenneth Gibson MSP

£6 million Scottish Enterprise Fund to Support SMEs' Low Carbon Capabilities

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP has launched a £6 million Low Carbon Challenge Fund to support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to grasp opportunities around climate change.

The Scottish Enterprise administered fund will be open to public, third sector and academic institutions working to create opportunities to advance the low carbon capabilities of SMEs within Scotland.

The First Minister said:

"The launch of the Low Carbon Challenge Fund is another step towards our target of ending Scotland's contribution to global climate change by 2045.

"Being at the forefront of the global transition to a low carbon economy is not just good for the environment, it stimulates innovation and opens up new opportunities for our businesses. This fund will back projects that help small and medium size companies across Scotland expand their expertise, develop products and build partnerships to enable them to exploit these new emerging markets.

"As we prepare to host the UN Climate Change Summit – COP26 – in Glasgow in November, it is fitting that Scottish companies are providing practical solutions to the environmental issues our world faces.

"The Low Carbon Challenge Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and is yet another example of how Scotland benefits from membership of the European Union. We are still waiting to hear how the UK Government proposes to replace this funding after it drags Scotland out of the EU against our will in 16 days’ time."

Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Steve Dunlop commented:

“This support for SME’s is intended to support the development of new low carbon solutions to harness opportunities and move from a climate emergency to a climate opportunity.

“Scottish Enterprise is working with partners to meet Scotland’s net zero target and ultimately provide the right environment for businesses to focus on more sustainable ways of working and the Low Carbon Challenge Fund is part of that.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“The Carbon Challenge Fund will create initiatives for SMEs in a range of areas from innovation, supply chain to market expansion with expertise sought across the low carbon spectrum from electric vehicles to low carbon homes of the future.

“Up to £6 million of grant funding was made available from the European Regional Development Fund, to be awarded on a competitive basis, to support the creation of a national network of regionally-based initiatives for SMEs to access.

“While the SNP Government will continue its own carbon reduction programmes such as the £10 million Saltire Tidal Energy Fund, the Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund, CivTech and the Low Carbon Transport Loan Scheme, European Funding will certainly be missed after Scotland has been taken out of the EU.”

The LCCF is a two-stage process and will contribute up to a maximum of 50% of eligible project costs. The deadline for stage one applications is Friday 21 February.

A range of information on the fund, including eligibility criteria, application process, contact details and timescales is available at www.scottish-enterprise.com/LCCF .