The Green Distilleries scheme, which was first mentioned in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Budget will help UK distilleries go green by switching to low-carbon hydrogen, biomass and repurposed waste to power their operations.
The Government said that the funding would enable distilleries to cut emissions by almost half a million tonnes of CO2 every year – equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road.
Phase 1 of the Green Distilleries competition will provide up to £500,000 in funding for feasibility studies looking into developing technologies that enable the use of a low carbon fuel in a distillery.
Kwasi Kwarteng, minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said: “Our plan to deliver a carbon-neutral future doesn’t just mean new jobs in new industries but helping some of our oldest industries to play their part as well.
“We want to harness the tremendous innovation of our distilleries so customers can enjoy their favourite tipple in the knowledge they are helping us to tackle climate change.
“In 2019, the UK distilleries industry grew by 20%, demonstrating the opportunity for the sector to be at the heart of a clean and resilient recovery.”
The Government launched a programme last week to help high street businesses including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Co-op and Waitrose strengthen their global supply chains amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding, which was announced by International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, includes investment from UK businesses to keep vulnerable overseas workers in their supply chains in safe and secure employment.
The move comes as the pandemic has put pressure on supply chains as factories and farms worldwide have been forced to close temporarily. The new Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility will help to ensure steady supply of products like vegetables, coffee and clothes to the UK high street.
The facility, made up of £4.85m UK aid and £2m from businesses, will focus primarily on supply chains and workers in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana.
Trevelyan said: “This new fund will strengthen vital supply chains for UK consumers, while supporting some of the most vulnerable workers in developing countries. It will make a real difference to people in the UK and abroad.
“The new facility will fund programmes to improve coronavirus preparedness in workplaces, help famers diversify the crops they produce to meet demand, and provide support so farms and factories can put processes in place to keep production going and make sure help is getting to the most vulnerable workers.”
Meanwhile, the 30 September deadline for firms to apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILs) is approaching. The scheme – delivered through more than 60 British Business Bank accredited lenders – is designed to support businesses with annual turnovers under £45m during the COVID-19 outbreak.
David Castling, director of Intermediary Lending at Atom Bank said: “CBILS has been initiated to support businesses through a stage of acute shock - what we mean by this is that under normal (Non-COVID) circumstances these businesses would be thriving and be accepted by the majority of banks, should they need to apply for finance. The scheme allows trading businesses to apply for funds based on a portion of their turnover or their liquidity needs for the next 18 months.
The Government-backed British Business Bank confirmed on 14 August it would extend the deadline for banks to approve applications by two months to 30 November, but that the applications deadline remains the same.