Experts from across the North of Tyne have issued a call out to businesses who want to expand to apply for new grant funding as the COVID-19 lockdown eases.

The North of Tyne Growth Fund panel has been assembled to review applications and award funds to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the region. Public and private sector professionals will work together on the panel to ensure funding is awarded appropriately, best suiting the needs of the people and businesses in the North of Tyne area.

North of Tyne cabinet member for Economic Growth Cllr Bruce Pickard said: “Now more than ever, support for businesses in the North of Tyne is key. The business and local knowledge of our private sector panel members will allow us to best allocate the funds throughout our communities.

“Through collaboration, the Growth Fund Panel will be able to award funding and support to our SMEs, which will improve our economy, employment and long-term growth.”

Cllr Bruce Pickard, North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

The North of Tyne Growth Fund is a £4.6m European Regional Development Fund that aims to support SMEs across Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle local authority areas to create employment and stimulate business growth.

This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Programme 2014-2020.  The fund will also leverage £10.5m of private sector investment.

Chloe Hall, Growth Fund panel member and founder of award-winning business Bumble and Bloom said: “I am extremely passionate about where I live and work and very much want to see businesses of all shapes and sizes grow and innovate right here on my doorstep.

“I worked my way up from a start-up and it was that sheer grit and determination that got me to where I am today. I want to be someone who recognises and celebrates that on the panel.”

Imran Ghafoor, panel member and managing director of FIG Enterprises Limited said: “The North of Tyne Growth Fund is a great opportunity for small to medium sized enterprises based in the Newcastle, North Tyneside or Northumberland areas to ascertain grant funding for business growth purposes.”

Jason Hobbs, panellist and CEO of The North East Fund said: The North of Tyne Growth Fund aims to stimulate and support businesses with high growth potential, as well as generating additional employment and I’m looking forward to working with the region’s ambitious businesses through the North of Tyne Growth Fund.”

Barrie Rhodes, panel member and Business Development Director at CPI said: “We have many strong companies in our region, and I’m privileged to be involved in the processes that sit behind the fund. I look forward to looking through your ambitious application and wish you good luck.”

How to apply

Grants are available through our delivery partner UMi:

About the European Regional Development Fund

The project has received £4,640,938 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

European Union, North of Tyne Authority, Northern Powerhouse and UMi logos