Northern Powerhouse

Free business support for businesses in Northumberland

What is the support?

Using funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and Advance Northumberland's own investment we have put together a package of specialist support for eligible businesses located in Northumberland and the wider North East Region. The programme provides multiple streams of support to help you to both enhance and grow your business. We can transform the way you work and the way you use the internet and technology, to open up fantastic new opportunities; facilitate more effective working practices and greatly improve your business productivity.

Our fully funded support package for eligible small and medium businesses include:

Digital workshops to help your business break down barriers online by selling online, engaging with customers and tapping into new markets. Covering 5 key subjects:

  • Social Media
  • eCommerce
  • Websites
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Social Media
  • Microsoft Office
  • Digital Marketing

One-to-one business support from specialist Business Advisers, subject specific workshops covering topics such as strategic business planning and advice on best use of technology for your business.

Access to a pioneering online learning portal where business support is delivered online; meaning support can be accessed anywhere at any time. The online learning is bespoke to your learning needs, allowing you to learn what you want at your own pace. Topics covered include:

  • Finance for Business
  • Growing your existing business and entering new markets
  • Leadership and Management
  • Employment and Skills
  • Websites and e-commerce
  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Digital Marketing
  • Assessing Business Growth
  • How to guides
  • Instructional videos

Are there any financial incentives?

There are currently no financial incentives associated with the programme. However, the training available on this programme is worth over £1000 to your business if you were to source independently. If you are looking for funding for your business please contact the North East Growth Hub

Am I eligible?

In order to access our full support programme, companies must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Small to Medium Sized Enterprise of up to 250 employees and have either an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro. OR an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro.
  • Trading address in Northumberland or within the wider North East LEP region (Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland) excluding Durham.
  • The following sectors are ineligible for ERDF support:
    1. Retail Capital investment in land buildings or infrastructure of any nature for use and/or occupation by retail businesses is not eligible.
    2. ERDF cannot be applied in relation to activity that directly or indirectly is related to the building and decommissioning of nuclear power stations
    3. Provision of local social welfare facilities e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, fire stations, child-minding facilities, sports facilities, parks, public libraries
    4. Coastal protection, soil conservation and infrastructures; all with an exclusively agricultural bias, reforestation and prevention of forest fires, insofar as such infrastructures can be financed under EAFRD. This does not include green infrastructure which is eligible under ERDF
    5. That proportion of public expenditure incurred in land acquisition not directly linked to productive investment or investment in infrastructure.
    6. Building and renovation of housing, except for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy operations.
    7. Major infrastructure in private sector ports, on the grounds that port developments and port operations should not need public subsidy. Furthermore, it could distort competition between ports. Subsidy tends to spread the problems caused by excess capacity and can be damaging to otherwise healthy neighbouring ports.
    8. Agriculture and primary production.
  • Must have growth potential: to be demonstrated by an increase in turnover and/or the retention/creation of jobs
  • Must not have exceeded the De Minimis Aid (State Aid) maximum threshold of €200,000 (approx. £158,000) of aid over any continuous period of 3 fiscal years. Potentially, any funding and/or services you may have received from a public body will count towards the threshold

Our team will also be able to tell you more about the support available to you.

How can I access the support?

Begin by completing the registration process. This will create a portal account for you, and send your details to our team.

Alternatively, call us on 01670 528 422, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact one of our business advisers here.

I’m thinking of starting up a business, can I do the online training?

Any business that has started trading can access the online portal. Unfortunately the full business support is not available for businesses not yet trading. However, you are able to access all of our online resources. In order to access the full programme, including attending workshops you must meet the eligibility criteria stated above.

Can anyone employed by me access the business support?

Yes. Anyone within a business can access the full programme as long as the business is eligible. There may be different needs within the business, dependent on job role or position.

If you could not find the answer to your question or require assistance please contact us.

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Northern Powerhouse