John Godfrey, marketing manager of First York flanked by Carolyn Frank and Andrew Raby, York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub Manager 3

York Go-Greener fund shares £20,000 to help 10 small businesses blossom with eco-sales ideas

  • Businesses to receive funding in the next month

Ten small businesses in York have today (Wednesday 15 June) been awarded £2,000 from the York £20,000 G0-Greener Fund to give their sustainable business plans a boost!

The fund was set up by First York with support from the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) in York & North Yorkshire and the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub. It is to help small businesses in retail, leisure, hospitality, health & beauty and other consumer services encourage eco-friendly high street spending and boost customer-led sustainable growth.

Small businesses had to make the case for how they would use the money through an online application which closed on Sunday 5 June.

The 10 successful firms were decided by a judging panel of Ian Humphreys, Managing Director of First York, the FSB’s Development Manager Carolyn Frank and Sue Jefferson, Chair of the Business Board at York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, who reviewed 29 applications.

All entrants will be offered advice on sustainability from the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub.

A wide variety of business activities are represented by the winners including fashion retail, food and drink, artisan products, cafes, book selling and podiatry. The full list is available on the First York website

Ian Humphreys said: “The fund has uncovered many imaginative ideas and a real purpose among small businesses in York to develop their sustainability All these plans will encourage customers to consider environmental choices when shopping and enjoying leisure time in the city and its communities.”

He added: “We intend to provide the funding in the next month so business can get started as soon as possible and continue efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of York.”

Carolyn Frank said: “I hope that customers and other small businesses will be inspired by the winners’ projects to take their own steps to greater sustainability. With the costs of doing businesses rising, cash for investment in sustainability is often scarce, but this shows that by seeking support and thinking creatively, cost savings and increased sales can be achieved from sustainability. The long term effects of small changes can transform businesses.

“The funding from First York has enabled these ten businesses to make a difference and to shine a spotlight on sustainability support from FSB and the Growth Hub, as well as our region’s net zero ambitions.” 

Sue Jefferson added: “It was a delight to see so many businesses on the sustainability journey, bringing forward multiple benefits with an exciting pipeline of ideas.

“The business community in York and surrounding area is clearly leading the way to meet consumer demand and be an inspiring showcase for others."

Videos of the 10 businesses will go to a people’s vote in early July with the winner getting the chance to be featured in a film about the region’s sustainable achievements and businesses which is being made by the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub and includes some of the world’s leading voices on climate change.

Photo captions:

John Godfrey, Marketing Manager of First York flanked by Carolyn Frank and Andrew Raby, York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub Manager.



Notes to editors

Media enquiries to Richard Harrison, First York on 07973 668116 or email


 The 10 winners in alphabetical order:

  1. Angela Bare
  2. The Blueberry Academy
  3. The Blue House Bookshop
  4. Elisa Day Bridal
  5. Fabrication
  6. Forage Bar
  7. Lodge Cottage Farm Shop
  8. Plush Café
  9. York Gin
  10. York Podiatry
  • York’s Park & Ride fleet is the biggest in the country, saving 1,600 tonnes of carbon a year.
  • The carbon saving for all bus journeys on the Park & Ride is the same as removing over 15,300 cars a week from York’s streets.
  • First York is investing a further £10m to support City of York Council in adding another 44 all-electric buses to the network.
  • First Bus is committed to have a zero-emission fleet nationally by 2035.

For more information on First York please visit

  • First York is following Government advice; implementing enhanced cleaning regimes across our vehicles, encouraging good hand hygiene with our employees and displaying public information posters on our buses.
  • Stepping up our cleaning regimes includes use of a long-lasting sanitiser and regular disinfection of all grab rails and poles, entrance door handles, window ledges and other touchpoints.

First York

First York is the largest bus operator in the region and operates the York Park & Ride scheme in conjunction with City of York Council. More than 100 buses transport around 50,000 people every day across York. The company operates from its James Street depot and its George Hudson Street office and employs more than 250 staff.

As experts in business since 1974, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help all smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. More information is available at You can follow us on twitter @FSBNorthYorks for the local area team.

FSB’s sustainability hub can be found at and a report is available at Accelerating Progress:

York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub

By its very geography, York and North Yorkshire is home to a diverse range of businesses. Regardless of size or sector, we are here to provide free and impartial business support. We are government-funded but locally based, which means that we provide tailored support based around the needs of our unique region. We are one of 38 Growth Hubs in England and are coordinated by the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Further information about the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub is available at