Norfolk and Suffolk Clean Growth Taskforce
Wednesday 5th October 2022
Agenda Item 9
Road to Net Zero Business Support Programme
Author: Ellen Goodwin
This report offers an update on the Road to Net Zero Business Support Programme.
The Taskforce are asked to:
Note the report and reflect any thoughts in terms of next steps or lessons learned.
The Road to Net Zero Business Support Programme is a pilot initiative, funded by the UK
Government’s Community Renewal Fund (CRF), designed to pro-actively pivot business
support and grants on a net zero future, build business advice expertise, and develop a
portfolio of tested interventions which can be rolled out further in future. The programme
covers the following:
The University of East Anglia in partnership with the University of Suffolk are
mapping sectoral opportunities on the net zero journey by defining business wants/
needs and informing understanding of decarbonisation constraints/opportunities.
The Chambers’ of Commerce are providing online toolkits/resources to share/
promote to businesses in order to support and enhance direct support and to
showcase best practice through marketing and events.
A dedicated trained resource within the New Anglia Growth Hub.
Grants from £1,000-£25,000, at a 75% intervention rate, to support businesses
towards net zero with measurable practical interventions.
1-3 days consultancy from a pool of procured experts for businesses. Business
audits will help identify the net zero ‘first/next step’.
A Net Zero Challenge Fund offering £25,000+ to businesses at an attractive 100%
intervention rate.
Partners include the New Anglia Growth Hub, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Suffolk
and Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, UEA and the University of Suffolk and Groundwork
Programme delivery
As presented at the meeting. This element will feed into the events being planned for
delivery in November 2022.
The Chambers’ are now well advanced with the delivery of their Programmes with almost 20
events delivered/planned. Online content has been improved and appropriately marketed to
the wider business community. Business Climate Leaders is ongoing in Norfolk and the Net
Zero Policy Group in Suffolk. While the bulk of delivery is close to being complete,
monitoring and evaluation is not due until the end of October to reflect the ongoing work both
Chambers’ are planning in this space. This element of work will also feed into the events
being planned for delivery in November 2022.
Groundwork East has provided training and ongoing support to the Growth Hub as well as
the LEP Executive to help boost knowledge within the business support arena. Growth Hub
advisers are now able to provide a level of net zero business support and are appropriately
skilled in order to develop the customer journey further in a tailored way through relevant
The grant programme across Norfolk and Suffolk is fully allocated and largely claimed.
The consultancy element of the Programme is fully allocated in Norfolk but there is still some
available in Suffolk.
Challenge Fund
Five challenge fund projects have been agreed in total with three now fully complete:
1. Adastral Park: Ultra Low-Carbon Modular Technology Demonstrator (Natural
Building Systems)
2. Hethel: Rural SME cluster transport decarbonisation (Mobilityways)
3. Suffolk: Hydrogen refuelling network for transport – early-stage feasibility (Hydrogen
Two others are due for completion at the end of October:
4. Snetterton Business Park: Feasibility study and business plan for an ESCO (EP
5. Development of a scaled replica offshore wind turbine designed to train people in
their engineering/construction (Constructionarium)
Next steps
The evaluation will conclude in January 2023 so elements of learning will be available to
feed into future work then.
The Taskforce are asked to:
Note the report and reflect any thoughts in terms of next steps or lessons learned.