Six firms in the south of Scotland are to benefit from 12 months of net zero funding thanks to a new ‘pathfinder programme’.

The programme is to be delivered by South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Net Zero Nation, a community-based group which aims to help SMEs to decarbonise.

The Beacon Businesses Net Zero Nation Accelerator Programme will give focused support to the chosen businesses to deliver a net zero plan and realise the economic opportunities that it can bring.

The online programme, which will be delivered by Net Zero Nation Social Enterprise, has been designed by SMEs, for SMEs. 

The programme will also help SOSE to shape its existing and future support it offers to all businesses, social enterprises and community organisations across the South of Scotland to achieve their net zero ambitions.

The businesses selected for the programme are:

  • Carbon Capture Scotland, based in Crocketford
  • Eco Group, Annan
  • Farne Salmon & Trout Ltd, Duns
  • Jackson Holdings, Scottish Borders
  • Jas P Wilson, Dalbeattie 
  • Lochcarron, Selkirk

Dr Martin Valenti, SOSE’s director of net zero, nature & entrepreneurship said: “We have huge ambitions for the South of Scotland, and this pathfinder programme will help us to showcase the benefits of Net Zero to inspire others to embark upon their own net zero journey.  

“Net sero should not be seen as a burden but instead a massive opportunity. To demonstrate this, we have chosen six companies we are currently working with, who we know are committed to making positive changes and who can shine a light and inspire others to contact us to let us help them.

“The programme will also help us to shape and deliver SOSE’s net zero support for all businesses and enterprising communities in the South of Scotland now, and into the future.”

Net Zero Nation co-founders, Tabitha Jayne and Gavin Tweedie said: “We are excited to play a part in helping businesses in the South of Scotland realise their commercial and net zero ambitions. 

“At Net Zero Nation, our mission is to mass mobilise SMEs to make their business stronger with credible net zero action. Our partnership with SOSE is a catalyst in helping us realise this.”

Anna Hinnigan, senior operations manager of Lochcarron said: “We are already doing amazing things in Lochcarron to be more sustainable, but we are early on in our net zero journey. 

“A holistic approach to the transition within manufacturing is important, and the need to balance regenerative production and fair work with decarbonisation can be difficult to navigate.  

“We are very excited to be part of this programme, and the support it will offer the Lochcarron team, to measure our environmental footprint and developing a credible decarbonisation plan.”

Ed Nimmons, co-owner of Carbon Capture Scotland said: “The path to net zero is about collectively reducing our emissions, creating a low carbon economy, and bringing communities with us on that journey to create a truly just transition.

“The net zero team at SOSE have been a clear and vocal advocate and we are delighted to continue our collaboration to make these net zero ambitions a reality.”

Eddie Black, managing director of Eco Group said: “Eco is delighted to be involved in the Beacon Net Zero Nation Accelerator programme.

“It will support and enable our net zero ambitions, while giving us the opportunity to learn in a peer-to-peer environment with like-minded South of Scotland organisations.“