The North of Tyne Growth Fund, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supported by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), has announced it has reduced its eligibility criteria so that more businesses will now be able to access the £4.6m investment programme.
The Fund, which was launched in 2020, is now open to small and medium-sized businesses based in the North of Tyne area that are planning capital expenditure of at least £67,000. This represents a 50% reduction from the previous £134,000 threshold.
Managed by UMi, the North of Tyne Growth Fund helps businesses foster more innovation by providing capital funding to expand their existing operations or establish new ones.
It is open to SMEs based within the Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle local authority areas, and looks to boost the local economy through more productivity, innovation and jobs.
Ten businesses have already benefited from the North of Tyne Growth Fund, including confectioners Sweetdreams Ltd, construction company Merit Holdings, and engineering consultancy Transmission Dynamics.
Jarek Rosinski of Transmission Dynamics said: "Our North of Tyne Growth Fund adviser really believed in our case, taking a genuine interest in our business. We were able to make a strong case for exceptional circumstances to apply for double the normal maximum grant of £250,000."
Sweetdreams Ltd's Matthew Stephenson said: "I mistakenly thought there was a real dearth of business funding and support but the North of Tyne Growth Fund changed my thinking on this and showed the depth
of support out there."
Matthew McGrady of Merit Holdings added: "The team were flexible in structuring the grant in a way that works for us, and I certainly felt that the process was all about trying to help and advise us to get the best value out of it."
Nicki Clark, Chief Executive of UMi, said: "This is a great example of open-minded partnership working at its best. We, as fund managers, have worked with partners in the combined authority to ensure that the fund is meeting the needs of businesses in the area, and importantly is able to change and adapt to address challenges and opportunities as they exist right now. Together we are making it even easier for more businesses to access the right funding to help them do more go further."
North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, added: “Small businesses are the life blood of our local economy.
“At the North of Tyne, we’re investing to help those businesses grow and to innovate for the future.
“It’s all about creating good jobs for people, supporting small businesses to thrive, and doing it in a collaborative way.”
For more information about the North of Tyne Growth Fund, call 0191 716 1007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org