Business Grants North East Region

Grants North EastBusiness Grants North East Region

  1. Growth Grants North East
  2. Grants for R&D / Innovation
  3. Rural Areas
  4. Training & Employment
  5. Environmental/Green
  6. Manufacturing & International Trade

Click on the title below to find out more about the grants available.

1. Growth Grants North East

North East Business Support Fund

North East Business Support Fund (via NBSL) – Grants North East

  • Available to both B2B & B2C businesses.
  • Up to 35% support to a max grant of £2,800 (ie. max project value £8,000) – min grant £1,000.
  • A reduced grant will be available for businesses in their first year of trading with an opportunity to access additional support in later years.
  • For businesses looking to increase turnover or employees within next three years.
  • Can be used fro growth planning, funding, marketing, diversification, HR etc.
  • Only currently available in County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear. The tender process for the Tees Valley has just begun so not yet available. Projects must be completed within 3 months from a funding contract being issued.

Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme

Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme

Businesses which lack a sufficient deposit to meet normal lending requirements could be eligible for a grant through participating bank’s Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme.

The scheme is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund, operating across England. It supports projects and programmes that are using private investment to boost the economy and sustain employment.

Maximum grants of £500,000 available for up to 20% of the asset cost for small businesses and 10% for medium-sized enterprises. Typically, one job must be created or protected for every £15,000 of grant received, up to a maximum of £500,000.

Tees Valley Business Compass – Business Growth Investment Scheme

Tees Valley Business Compass – Business Growth Investment Scheme

  • Covers the 5 local authorities with the Tees Valley;
  • The £500K fund provides grant assistance from £10,000 to £49,999 with the aim of creating new, sustainable, private sector jobs whilst leveraging private sector investment;
  • Expression of interest required initially before allowed to make full application;
  • Fees are 5% on amount agreed (max £2500) to successful applications;
  • Successful applications must incur all expenditure by 31st March 2016;
  • Largely applies to capital expenditure, unlike previous applications, there is allowance for revenue expenditure or R&D;
  • Intervention rates between 10% and 30%, dependent upon location.

Let's Grow Scheme

Let’s Grow Scheme

Let’s Grow is available to businesses based in the North East and is aimed towards manufacturing businesses and service sector businesses offering more than a local service and supports projects of £200,000 or more in value which will be completed by 31st March 2017.

The programme will not be available to businesses in the retail, construction, leisure, healthcare and tourism sectors.  Businesses of all sizes can apply however non-SMEs will need to be located in an Assisted Area to access support.

The amount of support available will depend on a number of factors such as the location of the project, size of applicant, nature of expenditure and level of job impact.  In most cases the level of support will be between 10% and 25%. Grant sizes: £50k to £1m

Invest in Hartlepool

Invest in Hartlepool

There is a selection of grants available for new and established businesses in the following areas:

  • Towards expenditure on capital equipment
  • To provide a contribution towards business rates
  • The creation of employment
  • Security works
  • Building and environmental improvements to specific industrial and commercial areas
  • Towards setting up and developing a business
  • Towards the introduction and development of information technology
  • Accessing new national and international markets

For further details:

2. Grants for R&D / Innovation

Innovate UK - SMART grants
 Innovate UK – SMART grants

The Innovate UK offer funding to SME’s to engage in R&D projects in the areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. Available for businesses in all stages (inc. pre start-­‐ups & start-­‐ups), and in all industries.

There are three types of grant:

  1. Proof of Market
    Max grant £25k – up to 60% of total project costs
  2. Proof of Concept
    Max grant £100k –
    up to 60% of total project costs
  3. Development of Prototype
    Max grant £250k – up to 45% for Small and 35% for Medium sized businesses

Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is a research and innovation programme within the European Funding Programme with nearly €80 bn of funding over 7 years (2014 – 2020)

Relevant to SME’s specialising in leading-edge research in fields such as ICT, Bioinformatics, Nanotechnology, Design, Innovation etc. Grants of potentially up to €3m available per SME.

Innovation Vouchers
Innovation Vouchers

Innovation Vouchers are designed to encourage businesses to look outside their current network for new knowledge which can help them to grow and develop. SME’s (including Start-ups) from across the UK can apply for an Innovation Voucher, which is provided by the technology Strategy Board.

A grant of up to £5,000 is available to businesses to work with a supplier for the first time and is used to pay for knowledge or technology transfer from that supplier.

The voucher has three key criteria:

  • The idea should be a challenge for the business which means specialist help is required;
  • This should be the first time that the business has worked with the knowledge supplier;
  • The idea should be applicable to one of the three priority sectors.

Innovate UK/Technology Strategy Board.
 Innovation Vouchers

The national Innovation Voucher scheme is available to anyone starting up or running a micro, small or medium-sized business anywhere in the UK. The voucher is worth up to £5000 to spend on external expertise to develop ideas and improve performance.

The vouchers are allocated after a ballot from all applications received. If successful, you will be able to engage an expert of your choice. You can spend more if you wish, but will be reimbursed up to £5000 – and you must pay any VAT due.

The application process in online. You can apply at any time, with around 100 vouchers being awarded every three months – in October, January, April and July.

3. Rural Areas

The Durham Coast and Lowlands LEADER programme

The Durham Coast and Lowlands LEADER programme

The LEADER programme has recently launched with a total of £1.584M to be allocated before March 2018. Aimed at farmers, growers, rural businesses and communities the funding is aimed at job creation, developing rural business and supporting the rural economy.

The Coast and Lowlands area covers to the East and South of Durham City. Locations include Sedgefield, Newton Aycliffe and Bowburn to the South, Castle Eden, Easington and Murton to the East.

Grants will range from £2500 to £145,000 with typical grants being between £5000 – £40,000. The five main categories are as follows: Farm diversification, Small/Micro Business & Farm Diversification, Rural Tourism, Culture & Heritage and Rural Services.

Rural Growth Network (RGN) Grants

Rural Growth Network (RGN) Grants – Grants North East

New grant scheme covering the majority of rural North East region designed to provide access for business help & support in rural areas:

  • Up to 100% grants available for 12 hours of support/mentoring (including access to finance)
  • Available for start-up’s and growing businesses
  • NBSL 40% grant can potentially be used as follow on if required
  • Additional RGN grant of up to 40% of project costs/capex considered for ‘larger’ projectswhere employment creation involved

Rural Enterprise Investment Programme (REIP)

Rural Enterprise Investment Programme (REIP) – Grants North East

Available for Micro Business creation and development (where a micro business is <10 employees)

  • Min – £25K & Max – £300K
  • Up to 50%
  • More complicated to apply for
  • Spending can be spread over 3 years
  • 4/6 months lead in time for approval
  • Can be used for a number of purposes, including Capital Expenditure & Asset purchase

Proposals (which need to be very comprehensive) must demonstrate one or more of the following

key attributes:

  • Promote innovation
  • Be located within a ‘rural’ postcode
  • Demonstrate good / high growth potential
  • Promote collaborative actions between businesses and through supply chains
  • Deliver multiplier effects, such as wider public ‘goods’ and benefits
  • Provide high quality employment opportunities
  • Develop a skilled and adaptable rural workforce

4. Training & Employment

Rural Business Growth Fund

Rural Business Growth Fund

  • Support is on offer to rural businesses who have clear growth plans to create new jobs.
  • Min £10K; Max £60K
  • The grants can cover expansion or improvements to business premises or assist with the purchase of capital plant and equipment.
  • Businesses can apply for a grant to cover up to 40% of the project’s total eligible costs
  • Projects must be able to start and substantially complete by the end of March 2017.
  • Businesses are invited to submit Expressions of Interest and selection will be through a competitive process.

Leadership & Management Fund

Leadership & Management Fund – Grants North East

  • Available for training & development – can be used for ‘training’ on strategic planning, funding, managing conflict, general help & advice etc.
  • For existing businesses with ‘growth’ features eg increase in turnover of >20% for each of next three years.
  • New businesses expected to reach a turnover of £500,000 or more in three year’s time.
  • 50% of the cost covered up to a maximum grant of £2,000 per key individual.

Skills Funding Agency

Skills Funding Agency – Grants North East

The cost of employee training can be fully or partially covered (depending upon employee age and other circumstances) under initiatives provided by the Skills Funding Agency/BIS:

University Assistance

University Assistance – Grants North East

Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme

This scheme is subsidised by the Technology Strategies Board to the extent of 60% of the total project cost. The university employs a post-graduate for the company and oversee a project of 1-3 years for around

£20Kpa cost to the business.

Some universities (eg Leeds Met) offer a ‘mini KTP’ programme whereby companies can have a post-grad working in their business for a period of a few months for a cost of around £5K to deliver a specific programme or project.  This is heavily subsidised by the university.

Part-funded Collaborations

There are individual schemes, which are funded by the EU, which involve part-fund collaborations between companies, universities and European commercial partners, or training courses run by universities for business.

Individual universities may have their own programmes, for example, Leeds offer space for events and meetings at a heavily discounted rate, and a ‘mini KTP’ programme whereby companies can have a post-grad working in their business for a period of a few months for a cost of around £5,000 to deliver a specific programme or project.  This is heavily subsidised by the university.

5. Environmental/Green

Investment for Growth – Environmental Grants

Investment for Growth – Environmental Grants – Grants North East

£150,000 has been made available to support the first 75 eligible businesses to improve environmental/energy efficiency with projects valued between £3,750 – £10,000.

Eligible projects could receive up to 40% funding towards project value ie grants of £1,000 to £4,000 available.

Renewable Energy via CO2 Sense Funding

Renewable Energy  via CO2 Sense Funding – Grants North East

1)  Aimed at environmental projects only.

2)  Investments are made as follows:

  • Projects that develop woodfuel supply chain and support the uptake of woodfueltechnology and installations– investment of between £15k and £100k
  • Projects that help to grow the region’s renewable electricity capacity – investments over £50k for capital projects and under £10k for revenue projects.
  • Projects that help to grow environmental technology businesses
  • Projects that pilot new approaches to reducing carbon – Investment of up to £60k for capital and £25k for revenue projects.

3)  Funding given by way of ‘Loans’ made on a revenue share basis where repayment of the funding is as a percentage of the likely or known revenue stream. (Eg. FITs or ROCs)

4)  Generally invested for purchase of capital items, however this is on a case-by-case basis.

5)  NO FIXED REVENUE SHARE MODEL, with flexibility around the core approach. Agreements do however include a ‘windfall clause’ giving CO2 Sense the potential to earn additional income in the event of extraordinary success.

6)  Aimed at early stage, high risk projects where bank funding unavailable. CO2 Sense aim to be the lender of last resort.

Carbon Trust

Carbon Trust – Grants North East

1.Low Carbon Building Design Advice Service (UK)

This service includes a detailed printed guide and face-to-face consultancy. The amount of

consultancy time you receive depends on the project size and the potential carbon savings. Design

Advice helps to identify the carbon savings in new and renovation projects, offering free or

subsidised consultancy advice to help throughout the project stages.

Although the consultancy services are often free, they do expect a level of commitment in return, in

the form of producing case studies and recording the actual measures you choose to implement.

Direct funding is not available, but the scheme will help businesses and organisations save money through

increased energy efficiency.

2.Green Equipment Funding Scheme

This is a finance scheme for green equipment from Carbon Trust and Siemens to enable UK organisations to invest in cost effective energy efficiency equipment and other low carbon technologies (e.g. new efficient lighting, biomass heating etc).

Schemes should enable the financing to pay for itself through energy savings and result in no net cost to the business.

Green Investment Bank  – for large-scale (>£10M) green projects:

6. Manufacturing & International Trade

International Trade Assistance, via UK Trade & Investment

International Trade Assistance, via UK Trade & Investment – Grants North East

UKTI offer a number of subsidised international trade services for importers and exporters, including the following…

  • Passport to Export Scheme: subsidised assistance for the less experienced exporters
  • Gateway to Global Growth: for experienced exporters
  • Overseas Market Introduction Service: subsidised assistance via overseas embassies & consulates
  • Trade Show Access Programme: support for trade shows & relevant events
  • Export Communications Review
  • Other free and subsidised services, support & events

Download Grants North East Fact Sheet for the North East region
For further information or guidance on any of the schemes summarised above, please contact us on 01765 650126 (Peter) or 01904 769063 (Martin)

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