North East rural businesses set for growth

North East rural businesses set for growth

The North East’s rural economy could be set for a boost thanks to the reopening of the North East Rural Growth Network.

Over 10 businesses are already receiving help from the scheme, helping them to grown across the region.

The programme offers two capital funds to businesses - the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund (SEIF) and the Rural Business Growth Fund (RBGF).

The SEIF fund can support the creation of enterprise units for multiple business users including enterprise hubs and site preparation works.

The RBGF supports businesses that are planning to expand or diversify into new markets or products. The fund is available for sectors including food and drink, manufacturing, and the creative industries.

Grants are available from a minimum of £10,000 to a maximum of £60,000 to support improvements or expansion of premises and the purchase of capital plant or equipment.

Both schemes are available to support up to 40% of the cost of capital developments which may lead  to the creation of more jobs in the region’s rural economy. 

The SEIF recently supported a project at the Kibblesworth Vilage Millennium Centre in Gateshead.

The centre received a grant of just over £41,000 to expand the community centre facilities, leading to the creation of a new enterprise hub with four office units, meeting space and facilities. The units have now been fully let and are expected to create at least six jobs.

North East LEP board member, Gillian Hall said: “Our rural businesses play an important role in supporting the regional economy.

“As such, our focus is on ensuring they have the right package of support to flourish, including access to finance to aid growth, sustainability and job creation.”


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