North East companies are encouraged to build business resilience in 2023 and access funding

06th Dec 2022

In need of some funding for your business? Applications are open for business grants available to companies based in the North East LEP area.

These grants will give your business a boost, ready to come back stronger in 2023. We caught up with Suzanne Tibbo, Project Manager at RTC North to break down everything you need to know to get funding into business.

What is your role and what does it involve Suzanne?

I am the first point of contact for businesses, for the last 7 years, I’ve been grant administrator on several ERDF programmes and look after all the revenue grants. I see the applications when they first arrive in my inbox and ensure compliance then once the Funding Agreement has been issued, I work directly with the client. We work together through the claim process and I will come back to them at a later date to find out the impact to their company the grant has made.

What makes a business eligible for a grant?

Businesses need to be SMEs (small to medium enterprises), so under 250 employees and have a turnover of less than €50 million or a balance sheet of under €43 million. They also need to be in the North East LEP area – Northumberland, Tyne and Wear or Durham. Companies in Durham, they need to be under the Durham County Council for their rates, as some companies in Durham are under Tees Valley and therefore not eligible.

What types of grants are available?

Currently we have revenue grants for working with a consultant for business improvements. Our revenue grants are designed to support businesses in mitigating the cost of commissioning external support that is acting as a barrier to the companies’ growth.

What are the most common types of grant applications you receive?

The most popular at the moment are marketing projects to allow companies to enter new markets and the preparation work leading to an ISO application, but we have also had business

development strategies; lean and continuous improvement strategies; a few prototypes which tend to be interesting; and some software development projects.

Which industries do you receive the most applications from?

I think we have had every type of business you can think of from individuals that have just started their business and need help developing the “next big thing” (and we have seen some brilliant ones over the years) to medium sized more established companies who need to diversify into new markets to make their business more stable.”

How long does it usually take to process a grant?

Processing the grants can be very quick and I have seen some go from application to being contracted in just over a week. On average though I would say two to three weeks to being contracted.

Are there any top tips you would give to a business when thinking about applying for a grant?

I think the first one would be to read everything carefully. From the eligibility right through to the terms and conditions in the Funding Agreement to the very end when making a claim. The claim process is very painless if the instructions have been followed.

For more information on grant applications please contact or call 0191 5164400.

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