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Funding available for business Incubator space

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) is inviting Expressions of Interest from Incubator projects which match the strategic aspirations set out in the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and the innovation programme with significant potential to make a demonstrable contribution to the Incubator network within the region.

Projects must demonstrate clear links to the SEP and be able to provide a clear and coherent programme of business incubation support.

We anticipate that the North East LEP will be asked to fund around 50% of the capital costs of the (re)development incubator space (subject to State Aid). The maximum grant available will normally be up to a maximum of £500,000 however in exceptional circumstances, where there is clear demand and a strategically significant project is put forward, a higher level of funding may be awarded.

Prospective applicants, who can be from public, private or voluntary sector, are encouraged in the first instance to read the Project Call Information document which can be found along with other supporting information on our funding page.

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Funding available for early stage Innovation projects

The North East is already home to excellent innovation assets supporting key sectors and facilitating open-innovation across our themes; but we know there are gaps and areas where we could do more. The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) is therefore inviting bids from early stage innovation projects to come forward for development stage funding that will help to prepare Business Cases that can help deliver the ambition set out in our Strategic Economic Plan.

Projects that are able to demonstrate clear links to the SEP and key Government policy (such as the Industrial Strategy), and are anticipated to be over £5m in scale are encouraged to come forward. Funding available through this call is to support the costs of getting projects ready to produce a HM Treasury Compliant, Five-Point Business Case – the funds are not for projects at implementation/build stage.

We anticipate that the North East LEP will be asked to fund around 50% of the costs of the development of a project (subject to State Aid). While there is not upper or lower limit attached to this, but the eventual ‘full’ projects should be anticipated to be of a significant scale (i.e. of at least £5m capital build cost).

Prospective applicants, who can be from public, private or voluntary sector, are encouraged in the first instance to read the Project Call Information document in addition to with other supporting information which can be found on our funding page.

 

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North East rural businesses given extra time to apply for a share of £10m funding

Rural businesses in the North East have been given an extra two months to apply for a share of £10m of funding.

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme offers funding for projects that create new jobs and grow the economy in rural areas, including tourism projects, grants to support food processing businesses, and business development grants for new machinery, premises or facilities.

The deadline to submit an expression of interest has been extended to 31 May 2018.

Dinah Jackson, Programme Manager at the North East LEP, said: “We want to hear from businesses that have an idea for a project which will create jobs and growth in our rural communities. If you operate in the tourism, food processing or rural business development sector, you could benefit from up to 40% capital grant funding.”

Three separate capital grant funds are available: Rural Business Development Grants, Rural Tourism Infrastructure Grants and Food Processing Grants.

To be eligible for the grants, businesses must be located in the eligible rural areas of County Durham, Northumberland and Gateshead or within the North East Rural Growth Network boundary.

Businesses which are interested in applying for funding are invited to attend an information event in Castle Eden, County Durham on 11 April where further details on how to apply, the selection criteria and examples of previous successful applicants will be available.

Dinah Jackson added: “There is support available for eligible business growth activities for anyone who is interested in applying for one of these grants. We want to our rural businesses to secure as much of the funding available as possible, so it is vital that we work together with the North East rural business community to identify projects which have the strongest likelihood of bringing a significant benefit to the region’s rural economy.”

The information event for businesses interested in applying will take place on Thursday 26 April, 8.30am-10.30am at The Old Brewery Business Centre in Castle Eden.

More details are available here.

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£120m fund for the North East goes live

£120m North East Fund goes live

A £120m investment fund to drive local growth and job creation will now go live after the agreement was signed on 23 March 2018 by the representatives from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and The North East Fund Limited (TNEFL).

The North East Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will offer a range of investments including equity, debt and mezzanine funding in the North East LEP area, which covers County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

It will provide financial support for over 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs over the life of the fund and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment over the next decade.

Experienced Fund Managers have been appointed to manage five separate funds which will cater to the needs of businesses at different stages across different sectors. Details of the Fund Managers are expected to be announced in early April.

Helen Golightly, Executive Director for the North East LEP, which led the project team negotiating for the region, said: “We have always believed that retaining investment funds exclusively for North East companies was the right decision and are grateful to the Treasury, EIB and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for their efforts and support to the team.

“This is a fantastic achievement for the North East and all the tireless work behind the scenes has now paid off.”

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, said: “This is an important step in ensuring that growth and opportunity are spread fairly across the country. The £120m investment will be a big boost to small businesses operating in the North East, driving productivity and bolstering the Northern Powerhouse’s economy.

“By generating thousands of new jobs and upskilling people across the region, the positive impact of this fund will be felt for generations to come.”

Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, said: “With over £120m of investment flowing into the region, strengthening local businesses and creating thousands of new jobs, the North East Fund signals another major economic boost to the Northern Powerhouse.

“It will provide welcome finance for smaller businesses across the North East to reach their full growth potential while bolstering the Northern Powerhouse’s reputation as a world-beating location to start and grow your business.”

Jonathan Taylor, EIB Vice President, said: “The North East Fund will help to unlock entrepreneurial drive and innovation across Northumbria, Tyneside, Wearside and County Durham.  The EIB is pleased to provide £120m to support this unique initiative that will create thousands of new jobs and improve skills across the North East and replicates the proven success of similar investment across Europe.”

Andrew Mitchell, Chief Executive of the North East Fund, said: “This new Fund is a feather in the cap for the North East and a vote of confidence in our economic potential. The North East LEP’s backing has been critical to getting this across the line and we can now focus on investing on the brightest and best businesses in the region.”

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covers County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Our role is to drive economic growth in North East England by supporting businesses and creating more and better jobs for everyone.

Over the next decade, we aim to help the North East create an extra 100,000 jobs. An ambitious target, but one we believe is achievable working with our partners in the public and private sectors.

Our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) for the North East outlines how we will create more and better jobs including the identification of our areas of strength, referred to as our smart specialisation areas; passenger vehicle manufacturing; subsea and offshore; life sciences and healthcare; and creative, digital, software and technology based services, and our plan to bring investment and funding to the area.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The project is receiving up to £58,500,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

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Funding available for business incubator space

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is inviting Expressions of Interest from incubator projects which match the strategic aspirations set out in the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and the innovation programme with significant potential to make a demonstrable contribution to the incubator network within the region.

Projects must demonstrate clear links to the SEP and be able to provide a clear and coherent programme of business incubation support.

We anticipate that the North East LEP will be asked to fund around 50% of the capital costs of the (re)development incubator space (subject to State Aid). The maximum grant available through this fund will be £250,000 of capital.

Prospective applicants, who can be from public, private or voluntary sector, are encouraged in the first instance to read the Project Call Information document which can be found along with other supporting information on our funding page.

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In conversation: Estelle Blanks discusses the Innovation Project Development Fund

As Deputy Director of Innovation SuperNetwork, Estelle Blanks works with North East businesses to help them get the funding they need by connecting them with investors through events such as FinanceCamp.

Estelle discusses how businesses in the early stages of an innovation-based project can benefit from up to £200,000 worth of project development funding that’s available in the Innovation Project Development Fund.

Read on to find out if this is for you and what the next steps are.

Why is the Innovation Project Development Fund important?

The North East LEP, as part of the North East Strategic Economic Plan, is committed to creating more and better jobs in the region and help give a long-term productivity boost to the economy. Ensuring there is a strong pipeline of projects that encourage innovation-led growth is essential to deliver this vision. This is what the Innovation Project Development Fund is all about.

The Innovation SuperNetwork is a key pillar of the North East LEP’s innovation strategy, bringing together over 50 stakeholders and reaching out to over 5,000 SMEs in the North East region. We help promote the innovation profile and brand equity of the region and we bring together the regional innovation community across academic networks, catapults, industry and innovation hubs. As such we are keen to see more innovation projects develop and benefit from the new Innovation Project Development Fund.

What types of companies are eligible for the fund?

The Innovation Project Development Fund exists to help companies and projects that can make a real impact on the North East economy raise the capital they need to go and make their plans a reality. Prospective applicants can be from the public, private or voluntary sectors.

This is project development funding for strategic innovation projects (larger than £5m in total) which will enable the project to progress to achieve full funding routes.

If your company creates more jobs in the region, encourages collaboration, or contributes to the productivity and growth of the North East’s economy through innovation, this may be for you.

What types of projects are eligible for the fund?

The North East LEP is inviting bids from early stage innovation projects to come forward for development stage funding. Projects that are anticipated to be over £5m in scale by the end of the project are encouraged to come forward. You should apply for this funding if your project supports the strategic aspirations of the North East LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan and the Industrial Strategy.

The projects must be capital, represent a strategic step change and result in key outputs such as jobs growth, business start-up and growth and the development of new products, processes or services.

Projects will need to demonstrate engagement and partnership between businesses and research institutions.

The Innovation SuperNetwork may be able to introduce you to potential partners and a network of other organisations and businesses who may be seeking collaboration or a partnership or even help with a particular technical aspect of your project.

 

Next steps for Innovation Project Development Fund applicants

Interested in applying for this funding? Here are the next steps for applying to the Innovation Project Development Fund.

Get in touch

The North East LEP welcomes informal discussions and queries from interested parties, so if you have any questions at all or need help assessing the eligibility of your project, just get in touch with James Davies ([email protected] / 0191 561 5430).

Have a look online

There’s plenty of guidance around the funding and the application process on the North East LEP website, including a scoring matrix that will help you easily identify whether you qualify for the funding or not.

I would also recommend reading the Strategic Economic Plan and the Industrial Strategy, as they’ll reveal what the North East LEP is looking for from applications.

Get collaborating

The Innovation SuperNetwork can use its network to help businesses make connections and can provide support which will allow you to access new markets and opportunities which can help you get access to funding such as this.

How to apply

Make sure you read through all the guidance documents and check you are eligible for the Innovation Project Development funding.

If you’re interested in submitting an application, please contact either James Davies (details above) or Ben McLaughlin ([email protected]  0191 561 5430) and ask for the relevant application form and guidance.

The deadline for submissions is midnight on the 30 March 2018.

 

For more information on the Innovation Project Development Fund see here: https://www.nelep.co.uk/news/lep-funding-available-early-stage-innovation-projects/

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Project development grants to champion innovation

Innovative projects could be given help to achieve success with business development funding.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is inviting bids for up to £200,000 worth of project development funding for strategic innovation projects.

The grants aim to support the preparation of a business plan, feasibility studies and funding applications for large-scale, strategic capital projects that improve the innovation infrastructure of the North East.

The North East LEP is looking for projects that are in the initial stages and need support with the preparation costs to produce a HM Treasury-compliant five-point business case for the Industrial Strategy Fund. The LEP is specifically looking for applications from projects that can demonstrate clear links to the goals set out in its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), and which are anticipated to be of significant scale with at least a £5m capital build cost.

North East LEP programme manager, James Davies, said: “Our Strategic Economic Plan includes a focus on achieving innovation-led growth, as this is essential to our region’s long-term prosperity.

“This funding is part of our approach to supporting the development of a strong pipeline of capital projects and infrastructure to support the growth of our innovation ecosystem by providing capital project development grants within the North East LEP area.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses. We are inviting applications for up to £200,000 worth of project development funding for strategic innovation projects. This will hopefully help the projects to progress to achieve full funding routes.”

Projects will be required to be seeking external funding from a public, private or other source with a project value of over £5m and to be deliverable within the next five years.

The closing date for applicants is 30 March 2018.

For further information can be found here.

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LEP funding available for early stage innovation projects

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) is inviting bids from early stage innovation projects to come forward for development stage funding that will help to prepare business cases that can help deliver the ambition set out in our Strategic Economic Plan.  

Projects that are able to demonstrate clear links to the SEP and key Government policy (such as the Industrial Strategy), and are anticipated to be over £5m in scale are encouraged to come forward. Funding available through this call is to support the costs of getting projects ready to produce a HM Treasury Compliant, Five-Point Business Case – the funds are not for projects at implementation/build stage.      

We anticipate that the North East LEP will be asked to fund around 50% of the costs of the development of a project (subject to State Aid).  While there is not upper or lower limit attached to this, but the eventual ‘full’ projects should be anticipated to be of a significant scale (i.e. of at least £5m capital build cost).

Prospective applicants, who can be from public, private or voluntary sector, are encourage in the first instance to read the Project call information document which can be found along with other supporting information on our funding page.

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Join the North East LEP Investment Board

We are looking for three passionate, well-connected business people from across the area to join the Investment Board.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is committed to driving economic growth, delivering more and better jobs for the North East as set out in our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). To do this, the business-led, partnership brings together the private sector, local authorities and university and college representatives to deliver against six strategic programmes: innovation, business growth, skills, employability and inclusion, economic assets and infrastructure and connectivity.

To deliver the ambitious agenda set out in the Strategic Economic Plan, several programmes of investment have been established and must have a business- and commercial- focus and invest in the strength present in the North East.

We are looking for three passionate, well-connected business people from across the area to join the Investment Board who are willing to volunteer their time and input their specialist knowledge and expertise to ensure effective investment decision making. Specifically at this time we are looking to appoint three external technical advisors relating to:

• Corporate Finance
• Property Development
• Investment / Access to Finance

If you have the drive, passion, business insight, skills and experience at a senior management or board level in any one of these areas and significant awareness of the North East economy we would love to hear from you. To find out more or apply, click here.