Arrow Project is a program designed to help North East SMEs innovate and grow. It's a completely free service which can be accessed by businesses who are looking to expand, or brand new businesses and start-ups. Get help with proof of concept and validation, help with research and development, and specialist data science expertise.
Back2Business is a grant program which awards '£10,000 to ethnically diverse owned small businesses that have been impacted by Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions.' To be eligible, you must be a business that is majority owned by a person from a diverse ethnic background, be in the UK, have a revenue of less than £1m, been in business prior to January 2020, and have 15 employees or fewer.
If you're thinking about further training, or are looking for a change in career, Gateshead College can help. The Gateshead College Foundation can help you with travel costs, course fees, personal grants, equipment for your study, even a suit for a job interview. Find out more on the Gateshead College website.
The Northern Accelerator is a collaboration between Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland Universities, focusing on the commercialisation of research to support local and national economic growth. They run a number of funds, which are designed to help academics train in business, and get their business ideas off the ground. Find out more on their website.
North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant
The North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant is designed to help businesses in Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside fund projects which 'create and safeguard good quality jobs, build a more inclusive economy and/or contribute towards the net zero agenda'. Download the application pack to get started.
Newcastle City Council have opened applications for the government Springback Grant, 'a one-off grant of £1,500 to help businesses make adequate adaptations and preparations' for the reopening of the economy. You can check your eligibility on the Newcastle City Council website.
If your business is trading in the UK, and has been adversely affected by the pandemic, you can apply for the UK government’s Recovery Loan Scheme. This scheme is to ‘help businesses of any size access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period.’ Eligible businesses can receive up to ten million pounds.
If you’re running a nursery, you may be eligible for business rates relief. You will be eligible if your nursery is an Ofsted’s Early Years Register, and provides care and education for children up to 5 years old. Your local council should provide this discount automatically, but you can calculate the relief on the gov.uk website.
Citylife Business Support is a service for SMEs in Newcastle who have been adversely affected by Covid-19. Eligible SMEs can get up to 8 hours of free business support, as well as workshops tailored to specific business needs, and a free events programme based on current business challenges.
Small to medium sized businesses who are planning a capital investment of at least £134,000, that are expanding or establishing in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland may be eligible for a grant of up to 30% of their expenditure. Businesses should complete the enquiry form on the website, and will then be contacted by a Project Advisor.
Teesside University Support Package
Teesside University have put together a free programme of support that they are currently offering to SMEs that have been affected by COVID-19. They are offering a huge range of services including business diagnostics, signposting to support, pinpointing grants and bid writing assistance, aswell as planning for recovery. These services are delivered remotely to eligible businesses - get in touch with Teesside University to find out more.
The Finance Durham Fund can support a huge range of businesses, and offers £200,000 to £700,000 in debt, equity and mezzanine funding. Eligible businesses must be ‘based in, or in the process of relocating to, County Durham at the time the investment is made’. You’ll also need to submit a detailed investment proposal, a detailed business plan, and an analysis of financial projections.
If you’re an entrepreneur trying to solve a social issue, Grow It is the fund for you. They offer £15,000 to individuals who have identified a social issue and have a business model which intends to solve it. If you’re committed to working full time and and have a track record of delivering social impact, and your venture is more than one year old but less than five years old, you may be eligible for funding and business support which includes one-to-one coaching.
Is your broadband struggling to keep up with your business? Get some vouchers with the Gigabit voucher scheme, and you can use them to contribute to ‘the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £2,500 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth £500 as part of a group project.’
The Yapp Charitable Trust makes grants to cover running costs and salaries for charities in England and Wales. They offer grants to registered charities, for work which focuses on one of their priority groups; elderly people, young people aged 5-25, people with physical impairments or disabilities, learning difficulties or mental health difficulties, social welfare and education and learning. They also prioritise, ‘work that is unattractive to the general public or unpopular with other funders’. You can download an application form from their website.
Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP)
The Manufacturing Growth Programme offers capital grants for small scale purchases up to £25,000, thanks to the European Regional Development Fund. Your business must be an SME, a manufacturer, and you must be located in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, the East Midlands or the South East. Check if your business is eligible online.
Scaleup North East is a programme designed for businesses wanting to grow and develop sustainably, by providing one to one support, action plans and funding. Scaleup North East offers all of this as well as broker strategic partnerships, advice, masterclasses and workshops. If you’re based in the North East and have fewer than 250 employees, you can apply.
Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator
Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator is, ‘a six-month programme for entrepreneurs with high growth businesses who are looking to scale up.’ If you’re an established entrepreneur who wants to take your business to the next level, you can get free office space, Wi-Fi, 1:1 coaching and access to business mentors. This is a fully funded programme, and Natwest don’t take any equity in any business.
European Structural and Investment Funds
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) is a programme which ‘provides funds to help local areas grow in a smart, sustainable and inclusive way.’ You can use the gov.uk website to view projects in the North East (or further afield) which you can apply to run, and receive funding for.
The New Enterprise Allowance is a weekly allowance of up to £1,274 over 26 weeks, and is designed to help those on Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance start their own businesses. You can also access mentoring through this scheme. To get started you’ll need to talk to your Jobcentre Plus work coach.
The R. W. Mann Trust
The R. W. Mann Trust is a charitable organisation, which gives one-off grants to organisations improving the North East. The Trust gives priority to organisations which are 'locally run and led, help people with the greatest need, involve disadvantaged and minority groups, improve the quality of life in their community, and are in the public interest'. To apply, visit their website.
The Prince’s Trust is a great organisation for young people wanting to start their own businesses. If you’re between 18 and 30 and have an idea for a business, you can join the Enterprise programme. It’s a great way to get your business started, and in special circumstances there are even grants available.
BEST Energy efficiency project
The BEST Energy efficiency project is an EU funded project allowing businesses to provide 250 SMEs with a free energy audit, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. SMEs will be able to reduce their running costs, do their bit for the environment, and there are even 100 grants up for grabs to implement audit recommendations. Just complete the eligibility form to get started.
The Business Clinic at Northumbria University
The Business Clinic is an education scheme set up by Northumbria University, designed to give final year undergraduate and masters students on the ground experience working with real businesses. If you're looking for consultancy advice for your business, or you have a specific problem, The Business Clinic offers their services for free.
The North East Fund
This new fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and will be investing £120m in 600 businesses in and around the North East. There are 5 separate funds within the North East Fund, and the majority of SMEs should be eligible for at least one of them.
Digital Drive County Durham
Digital Drive is ideal for businesses in County Durham who are embarking upon digital technology projects, who could be eligible for funding to cover up to 40% of their costs. This will include digital consultancy projects, equipment, broadband infrastructure and installation.
The Community Foundation
This organisation funds legally charitable work, and provides grants to groups trying to, 'keep their services or activities going, expand them or work in new areas' as well as projects which aim to, 'improve services, develop your staff and trustees or work on your longer-term plans'. The average grant is £6000, and if you're based in Tyne and Wear or Northumberland you can apply at any time.
The Hadrian Trust provide grants to charities and groups working with people or the environment in the North East. Grants provided are usually between £500 and £2000, and can be used for running costs, project costs, part salaries and basic equipment. You can apply online or by post.
The North East Core Funding Programme comes from the Greggs Foundation, and 'makes grants to organisations in the Counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and Teesside to support core running costs'. If you're a charity that supports disadvantaged people, you could get £15,000 per year for up to three years.
This fund is available for businesses who have an innovative idea that will encourage business growth. SMEs must be based in the North East and be investment ready. Successful applicants will have up to 40% of their project funded, and gain access to industry experts, suppliers and independent advice.
This programme offers loans to businesses, which can be used to ''grow your business, take on new staff or manage cashflow''. Funding Circle offer loans from £5,000 - £1 million, and offer free early repayment. Just fill in the online form to see if you're eligible.
If you are looking for investment, Northstar Ventures could be for you. They are currently running the North East Social Investment Fund, which is designed for charities and social enterprises that help improve the region. Read the guidelines for submitting a proposal here.
This fund is still running and offers support when you hire a graduate. They have different deadlines for each sector, so check their website for details.
If you're thinking about hiring an apprentice this fund is still available.
This fund offers up to £2800 towards your next business venture. You can apply online, and the process should only take 15 minutes. There are still dedicated offers for businesses in County Durham.
You can still claim tax relief if a project you're running aims to advance science or technology.
If you know about a fund, grant or investment opportunity we should be talking about, tweet us @TranscenditUK.
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