AFTER just one year of a three year project, Worcestershire County Council and its partners has signed up its 200th business to the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP).

The BEEP programme was set up to help lower running costs, and promote energy efficient businesses. It is one of a suite of seven ERDF-funded business support programmes operating under Worcestershire’s Open For Business banner.

The BEEP programme offers a two-pronged combination of technical support and grant funding to help manufacturing and engineering businesses slash their energy usage and make cost savings. It works across other sectors such as distribution, hotels and professional services.

Christopher Atkinson, BEEP programme manager, said: "Signing up the 200th business represents a key milestone.

"Getting companies to embrace sustainability principles across all operations is often a hearts and mind mission, and this is where our partner organisations are invaluable."

Businesses signing up with BEEP get expert advice from an independent expert - either Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce or Briar Associates and Pro Enviro Ltd, energy consultancy specialists.

As part of the BEEP programme, businesses have an opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £20,000. Grants can be used for LED lighting, heating improvements, compressors, fast acting warehouse doors and much more.