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Supporting decarbonisation and improving the natural environment


Project Brief

Download a copy of the  Supporting decarbonisation and improving the natural environment project brief. (PDF) [369KB]

UKSPF Intervention

E29 - Supporting decarbonisation and improving the natural environment whilst growing the local economy.

Taking a whole systems approach to invest in infrastructure to deliver effective decarbonisation across energy, buildings, and transport and beyond, in line with our legally binding climate target. Maximising existing or emerging local strengths in low carbon technologies, goods and services to take advantage of the growing global opportunity


In April 2019 Preston City Council declared a climate emergency and committed to delivering net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The declaration included a commitment to ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and planning decisions would be made in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.

The UKSPF has provided the council with an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to the April 2019 declaration by funding initiatives to support the decarbonisation of the local economy in Preston. It is anticipated that this will be achieved by committing funding to projects which

(i) assist businesses in Preston in decarbonising their own operations, with an emphasis on those firms which account for the highest carbon emissions and

(ii) supporting Preston businesses to bring new low carbon technologies from development through to commercialisation.    

At a county level, decarbonising the Lancashire economy has been identified as a key priority in the Clean Growth Strategy for Lancashire. Within Lancashire there are estimated to be over 650 low carbon technology businesses and thousands of advanced manufacturing firms that have the potential to diversify into component manufacture for the sector.

A recent audit of Lancashire's economy highlighted the central importance of transforming manufacturing to spearhead net zero and to enhance both productivity and employment.

Critical to achieving this diversification will be R&D support for the development of products as well as support with identifying and applying for funding to scale up to full production and to demonstrate new products to potential customers.

Lancashire's industrial base is well placed to benefit from the expertise of local research focused universities, academic institutions and sectoral initiatives to maximise opportunities for decarbonisation, energy sector innovation and to drive local commercialisation of new technologies. Examples of the expertise in the county include the Energy, Low Carbon and Sustainable Technologies Innovation Mission led by Lancaster University, the Low Carbon Smart Building at the AMRC North West Facility and the Lancashire Centre for Alternative Technology.

The county also has strengths in local low carbon generation, pre-existing relationships with offshore wind installations as well as onshore generation including wind and solar.

The UKSPF provides the opportunity for Preston City Council to draw on this local expertise to commission targeted and bespoke programmes of decarbonisation and innovation support for companies wishing to reduce their carbon emissions and/or diversify into low carbon technologies. 

Financial Profile




Total Expenditure

Year 1 (2023-24)




Year 2 (2024-25)








  • Number of enterprises receiving non-financial support - 100
  • Number of decarbonisation plans developed as a result of support - 60


  • Jobs safeguarded as a result of support - 30
  • Number of enterprises adopting new to the firm technologies or processes - 20

* The output and outcome figures shown are the minimum which Preston City Council expects the available funding to deliver. Applicants applying for the full amount would be expected to meet these targets as a minimum. Where an applicant is applying for a share of the funding, we expect outputs and outcomes to be delivered in proportion to the share applied for.

Project Timeline

  • Date of launch for commissioning - Friday 26 May 2023
  • Deadline for receipt of applications - Friday 30 June 2023 - 17:00
  • Notification of whether applications have been successful - Mid July 2023 (provisional)
  • Issuing of grant agreements, commencement of projects - End July 2023 (provisional)
  • Project end - 31 March 2025

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