Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Bury are invited to apply for a new grant to support the delivery of energy efficiency improvement projects.

The grant of up to £5,000 is on offer from Green Economy, which has been commissioned by Greater Manchester Combined Authority to deliver funded business support programmes.

The programmes are funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Levelling Up project, to support the local ambition to be a net zero city region by 2038.

AV Metals manufacture sheet metal from their site in Bury. 

The business met with the sustainability and net zero team for an onsite resource efficiency audit, to identify opportunities for the business to improve efficiency across compressed air use, hot water heating, laser cutting and welding efficiencies. 

And as a result, the firm applied for grant funding to upgrade their inefficient compressor with a new variable speed drive unit, which included a heat recovery system to divert waste heat from the compressor to an electrically heated parts washing process. 

By upgrading, the business saved 91,427kWh of electricity equating to annual cost savings of £13,714 on their energy bills and 21.1tCO2e. 

The compressor grant was part of a project needed to enable the business to install a new fibre laser cutter machine, that has further reduced electricity related carbon emissions by 113.3t CO2e. 

In total these two projects have saved 134.4 tCO2e.

Managing director of AV Metals, Scott Brooks, said: “As a firm with intensive energy needs, the advice and grant funding that we received have made a big difference to our operating costs. 

"The support gave us the confidence to prioritise actions and investments that would generate the biggest savings – for both finance and carbon – while improving the operational efficiency of our business.”

Bury Times: A new compressorA new compressor (Image: Supplied)

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Technical lead at Green Economy, Alasdair Dalzel-Job, said: "We have seen time and again that the key barrier to net zero for businesses is accessing cashflow and capital investment to take those 'nice to do projects' to the top of their to do list.

"This grant presents a real opportunity for businesses in Bury to prioritise energy efficiency improvements in 2024.

"We have delivered a number of grants for businesses over the years, awarding over £1m since 2018, which has helped businesses to save £2.3m in overheads, with annual carbon savings of 5,773.63 carbon tonnes."

Eligible businesses can find out more about the grant and the application process by visiting

The energy efficiency grant is available to small and medium enterprises based in Bury, providing 50 per cent of the cost to deliver projects worth up to £5,000.

Eligible projects include heating equipment upgrades, replacement motors, process efficiency investments, and lighting efficiency.

To qualify for the grant, projects must specify the scale of CO2e savings expected from the project.