ReLondon and Islington Council announce £120k in grant funding for small local businesses

New grants have been announced today by Islington Council and their partners, ReLondon, to help micro and small businesses in the borough try out or scale up circular approaches which reduce their waste and carbon impacts.

A circular economy is one in which stuff is kept in use for as long as possible, delivering the highest value it can, for as long as it can. 45% of our emissions come from all the food, materials and products that we use in our everyday lives – and circular economy approaches such as re-use, repair, renting and sharing things and making them out of recycled content can all help tackle those emissions.

The grants, of £5,000 or £10,000 per business, are provided by Islington Council as part of central government support to help the post-pandemic economic recovery. They will fund up to 20 small businesses to become more circular, increasing their economic resilience, building ‘green’ skillsets amongst Islington businesses and residents and contributing to the borough’s target of becoming a net-zero carbon borough by 2030. They are available to:

  • Businesses that are new to the circular economy, trialling a circular business model for the first time; and
  • Businesses that already offer circular products and services, and want to increase their reach and impact within Islington.

ReLondon – a partnership of the Mayor of London and London’s boroughs, with the mission to accelerate London’s transition to a circular economy – is administering the grants and providing business advisory support to all successful applicants. They are particularly interested in talking to businesses in Islington’s most deprived wards, as well as those trying out circular business models for the first time. Businesses led by women, or with a disability or from Black, Asian or other minority ethnic communities are also particularly encouraged to apply.

Those interested in applying but who are less familiar with the concept of the circular economy can also apply to attend a circular economy masterclass in February, to learn more about the potential for their own business to reduce waste, increase recycling and improve resource efficiency. This support can help business owners generate ideas to then apply for the grant.

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We know that we can only truly tackle the climate emergency together, with local people and businesses working together. The council is taking action but with 92% of Islington’s emissions outside of our control, we must do more.

“We are supporting local businesses with the financial support and expert advice they need to adopt environmentally sustainable practices early on, so they are built into the way they operate as they grow.

“This advice and grants scheme will benefit everyone living, working, shopping and doing business in Islington. The more we can avoid throwing things away that could be re-used, recycled, shared or repaired – the better.”

Wayne Hubbard, CEO of ReLondon, said: “We’re delighted to be delivering this support on behalf of Islington Council. Small businesses are such a vital part of our local infrastructure and can help deliver the recovery our economy needs while developing new solutions to tackle the climate emergency. We’re calling on Islington’s innovators to become part of the capital’s future economy and join us in our mission to make London a global leader in sustainable ways to live, work and prosper.”

ReLondon will hold an information session on 25th January for Islington businesses interested in applying, after which attendees will be able to apply for the Circular Business Masterclass.

The application deadline for the package of grant funding and business advisory support is 11.59pm on 27th February.