Low Carbon Community and Culture Project

The Low Carbon Community and Culture Project provides expert support and funding for community or cultural organisations wanting to spend less on energy and produce less carbon emissions.

The project is open for enquiries. We will accept organisations onto the scheme on a first come, first served basis until there is no more funding or support available.

Through this project, you could:

  • reduce your energy costs
  • make your organisation more sustainable and environmentally friendly
  • possibly protect and create jobs by investing savings back into your organisation

This project is part-funded through the GOV.UK: Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

What support could you get

One-to-one support 

Our advisors will guide you through every stage of the process. They will:

  • help you understand your energy usage and identify where you could save energy
  • refer you for an energy survey
  • support you to understand the results of the survey and how you could fund improvements, including whether you could apply for a grant through the project
  • help you find other sources of support to help you reduce your energy costs and carbon footprint

Energy survey

You’ll get a free energy survey of your premises to show you how much energy you use now and how you could save energy.

The report will identify energy saving improvements the organisation could invest in. It will also give you details on how much carbon each could save, how much it would cost, and how much money it could save you, so you can decide what’s the right path to take.

Energy Efficiency Grants

The project includes a grant scheme through which you may be able to apply for funding to help pay for your energy-saving changes. 


To be eligible to take part in the scheme, you must:

  • be an organisation, or group of organisations, delivering community or cultural activity from premises in Sheffield (this includes charities, community groups and not-for-profit social enterprises)
  • deliver services or activities out of buildings used mainly for community or cultural purposes
  • be able to provide 12 months’ energy bills (or however many months you’ve been in your premises, if less than 12 months)
  • if you are a business, you must have had less than £315,000 Minimal Financial Assistance subsidy over the last 3 years (ask us about this if you’re not sure)
  • if you are a tenant, you must have the approval of your landlord to make changes to the building
  • the premises you operate from must be public facing, such as being accessible by the community

If you are a group of organisations, you must be able to identify one lead organisation who will hold the grant and be accountable for it. You must also be able to explain how and why the organisations are working together.

About the grants 

As part of the project, organisations will have the chance to apply for funding to help pay for eligible energy-saving changes identified in their survey.

For projects costing up to £20,000

  • you can apply for a grant to cover up to 100% of the project cost
  • you can apply for up to £15,000

For projects costing more than £20,000

  • you can apply for a grant to cover up to 75% of the project cost 
  • you can apply for between £15,000 and £25,000

If there is enough funding available, we may be able to explore grants of more than £25,000 in exceptional cases. 

If your grant covers less than 100% of your project cost, your organisation will need to be able to cover the remaining cost in other ways.

To qualify for a grant through the project

  • the energy-saving change you want funding for must be identified in your Energy Survey
  • you must commit to carrying out two surveys to measure users’ thoughts and experiences: one before you make the change and one afterwards to measure its impact
  • the investment must be set to complete by December 2024
  • the amount you can apply for will also be limited by how much carbon your changes are set to save over the lifetime of the investment – this will be made clear in your Energy Survey and the Advisor will work it through with you
  • we can only support capital projects; we can’t fund working capital or operational costs
  • projects costing more than £20,000 must have a Return on Investment of more than 1 year

To find out more including whether you qualify for support, please email sccaproject@sheffield.gov.uk 

The project is now open for enquiries. 

Case studies
Preformed Windings, Rotherham

Manufacturers of high-voltage coils; trusted partner to the largest EOM; supplier of choice for emergency repairs.

Main source of energy use: electricity for lighting and temperature control.

Intervention supported: cold store insulation and replacement of lighting with LED lamps.

Impact: improved working conditions; longer shelf life for materials.

“I was initially attracted to the programme by the grant available, but I also found the audit process thorough and helpful. 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.” – David Beresford, Technical Manager

Ashton Seals, Barnsley

Established leader in the sealing industry, supplying a wide range of industries from aerospace and automotive to pharmaceutical and renewables.

Intervention supported: LED lighting and new heating systems throughout premises.

Impact: reduced electricity bills despite increase in prices; improved working conditions; better environment for welcoming high-profile customers.

"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. We wanted to improve the lighting for a number of years but due to the high investment this has been prohibitive. Thanks to the grant funding we have now been able to implement this initiative, and we look forward to seeing the benefits for many years to come." – Zoe Fearnley, Managing Director

Cupola Contemporary Art, Sheffield

A gallery of contemporary art and fine craft, showcasing the work of local, national and international artists.

Largest source of energy use: lighting and heating.

Intervention supported: lowered ceilings, insulation, motion sensor lighting, boiler upgrade.

Impact: improved customer experience; demonstrable commitment to environmental best practice; improved appearance of gallery; reducing energy usage; increased knowledge and confidence to make further improvements.

"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." – Keren Sherwood, Founder and Owner

Mount Pleasant Hotel, Doncaster

Founded in 1936, it is set in 100-acre grounds and has excellent transport links as well as offering a spa, restaurant, wedding venue and luxury cottages.

Main source of energy use: gas for heating system.

Intervention supported: removal of radiators and roll-out of air conditioning in 20 rooms.

Impact: reducing carbon footprint and energy bills; better experience for guests.

"They came up with various options which we could implement – we worked with them to identify the quickest to implement with good payback periods. Trying to create a room by room heating system was a nightmare; we were able to quickly implement air conditioning and it’s been a great success."

The Low Carbon Community and Culture Project has received £2,198,900 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

UKSPF logo strip

Contact Business Sheffield

0114 224 5000
10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

Want to talk to someone right now?

Is this page helpful?

Is this page helpful?