Birmingham City Council financial challenges - time to Reset

To find out more about the budget and section 114 notice visit our budget information page

Eligibility criteria for the Net Zero Grant Programme

Businesses from all sectors are eligible for consideration, except for:

  • charities
  • those of political or religious persuasion
  • activities involving pornography or clairvoyance
  • any business activity that is illegal, or deemed unsuitable, for public support by Birmingham City Council

Training and skills development are also ineligible as provision for these activities will be supported via alternative funding routes.

To be considered for the Net Zero Grant Programme, you must be able to answer “yes” to each of the questions below prior to applying.

  1. Are you either:
    • an SME that has been actively trading for 6 months or more based in Birmingham or Solihull? To be classed as an SME, your business must meet 1 of the following requirements:
      • employ less than 250 people
      • have an annual turnover below £36 million
      • have an annual balance sheet total not exceeding £18 million if the business is owned by another company, or a combination of other companies. Refer to the Government SME legislation.
    • a brand-new start-up, or been trading for less than 6 months, based in Birmingham or Solihull?
      • A start-up is a brand new or newly emerged business venture set up by an individual founder or entrepreneur to develop a viable business model to meet a marketplace need or problem.
  2. Can you provide evidence that you have registered your business?
    • If you are a limited company, you will need to provide Companies House registration.
    • If you are a partnership, you will need to provide a copy of your partnership agreement.
    • If you are a sole trader, you will need to provide evidence of self-employed status with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
  3. Are you a profit-seeking business?
  4. Can you provide full financial accounts, or a robust Business Plan (including financial forecasts) if you’ve only been trading for 12 months or less?
  5. Can you deliver your project in a 3 month* period following receipt of your offer of grant.
    • Priority will be given to investment ready projects which can be completed within 3 months (for high value, more complex projects, project timescales are subject to negotiation).
  6. Are your business rates payable to either Birmingham City Council or Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council?
  7. Will your project result in greenhouse gas reductions/percentage decrease in Tonnes of CO2 emissions?
  8. Do you have cash match?
    • Cash funding is the difference between the grant you are seeking and the remaining cost of your project.
    • All applications must provide cash funding which can be sourced from the private sector, but not other public sector funding, Asset Finance or similar financial products involving a financial arrangement whereby an item is paid for in instalments, as this does not provide full evidence of defrayed expenditure.
    • Loans, overdrafts, savings or company funds are considered to be eligible cash match and these must be secured and in place prior to approval of a NZGP grant.
  9. Can you obtain a minimum of 3 competitive quotes for each item* above £2,499 along with the relevant evidence by the WMGP procurement guidance?
    • Quotes for project expenditure should not be from persons or businesses connected to your business, directors or shareholders.
    • Only 1 quote is required for items up to £2,499.
    • *1 item or the sum of many items from 1 supplier.
  10. Has your business either:
    • had an energy efficiency assessment delivered by a qualified assessor with appropriate knowledge and qualifications (ie ISO/ESOS accreditation) to evidence the environmental savings that will be achieved? (The energy efficiency assessment must have been undertaken within the last 2 years and grants can be sought for solutions to one, some, or all the recommendations for energy reduction measures provided within the assessment). If this applies to your business, then you can submit a NZGP application directly to Birmingham City Council. (Note that the cost of the independent assessment is an ineligible project cost).
    • If your business has not had an energy efficiency assessment, then you have registered for a free energy audit prior to completing a NZGP application.(The audit must be conducted prior to submitting a NZGP application, so register here for a free Energy Audit).

If you answered “yes” to all the above, then you can submit your application.


The use of consultants or third parties in completing the application form is an ineligible cost.

The programme limits awards to 1 grant per SME from NZGP.

Page last updated: 6 October 2023

rating button