Seamless and speedy green grant support helps golf club turn the corner.
"We couldn’t be more impressed by the support we have received...the savings are huge and the process of getting the grant was amazingly seamless from all the people involved."
Applying for business support grants can appear an intimidatingly complex and time-consuming process, especially for a business run by a small team which is already working at full stretch.
So when Shane Lovric, Owner of Oakridge Golf Club, Nuneaton, applied for a Green Recovery Grant from Warwickshire County Council, she was very pleasantly surprised by the “seamless” process.
It is the first business support the golf club has received in its 30-year existence and Shane is also delighted by the savings from the work enabled by the grant – installation of LED lighting and addition of solar batteries to the existing solar panel system.
The business first had a Green Energy Audit carried out by Coventry City Council as part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Green Business Programme. They then applied for the grant element of the programme and received £10,144 towards the costs of installing the energy-saving measures. These measures will result in the business reducing their carbon emissions by 12.68 tonnes per year..
Quite apart from the environmental benefits, the improvements have put the business back on a secure footing after the colossal challenges of recent years.
“We couldn’t be more impressed by the support we have received,” said Shane. “Our future would have been unpredictable without that support...it has saved us around £750 per month. The savings are huge and the process of getting the grant was amazingly seamless from all the people involved.
“We first spoke to Linda Savitri at the Growth Hub and explained that we had been hit very hard by Covid and were very concerned by increasing fuel bills. We have a very big clubhouse which takes a lot of power to light and heat.
“Linda put us in touch with Jonathan Howell at the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme. He was brilliant and worked out what we could save and how we could save it. He knew about the County Council’s Green Recovery Grants so then we spoke to Jo Smith, business growth advisor at the Council, and she helped us with the application based on Jonathan’s calculations.
“Jo was very good, as were Gaynor Valente and Louisa Smith from the County Council's Business & Economy Commissioning & Programme management team, and they all helped make it a very easy process. We submitted the application in January and all the work was completed and connected up by April. It couldn’t have worked better."
Oakridge Golf Club and its emplloyees are now looking forward again with confidence after a uniquely testing few years.
“The perception is that golf clubs are rolling in money but we are a proprietary cub and really just a small business like any other,” said Shane. “Golf clubs nationally have been really struggling since Covid, it has been a case of hand-to-mouth, and we are a very small team so the support we received has been crucial. I am eternally grateful to all those involved.”
WCC Business and Growth Support Programme Manager, Jon Stead, said: “Warwickshire County Council is always working on making access to finance as seamless as possible so it’s great to see this feedback on one of the most recent funds. It also fantastic to see another Warwickshire business accessing the Green Recovery Grant and lowering both their carbon emissions and their monthly outgoings.”
* To find out what other support is available to your business, please call CWLEP Growth Hub on 0300 060 3747