The North of Tyne Rural Business Growth Service 2020 – 2023 is a £7.9m programme of investment part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, and the North of Tyne Combined Authority. 

Delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of Northumberland County Council, our aim is to support businesses on their growth journey. We work with micro, small and medium sized enterprises located in the rural areas of Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside. 

We have three clear objectives:

  1. To support rural businesses with growth potential and ambition to develop and implement business growth plans.
  2. Develop a more diverse business base by supporting rural businesses to grow, creating new employment opportunities and increasing productivity.
  3. Stimulate investment in the growth of existing private sector rural businesses.

The rural parts of the North of Tyne area play a very important role in the local economy, accounting for a significant share of total employment and contributing significantly to the region’s visitor economy. 

We want to ensure that growing businesses are retained in rural areas, strengthening local business networks and markets. This project aims to address the scale up challenge of businesses with growth potential in rural areas, supporting them to access suitable finance products, enabling growth and maximising their opportunities to increase turnover and create jobs.


What we do to support your business 

We provide a single point of contact and access to one-to-one specialist advice in a range of subjects, to help you develop a business plan to maximise your chances of securing funding and financial support. 

Your individual tailored programme of support will be diagnosed, developed and managed by one of our Rural Enterprise Specialists, in association with our pool of procured specialists who can offer guidance in the more technical areas of business planning such as:

  • Resilience Planning 
  • Cashflow and financial forecasting
  • Taxation and exemption
  • International trading - practice and law
  • Market opportunities and demand
  • Supply chain efficiencies and requirements
  • State Aid guidance
  • Procurement advice
  • Sales Strategies
  • Funding Requirements
  • Succession Planning 

To find out more about our service, please register here.


Are you looking for investment? 

Our programme also delivers a capital grant fund. The fund will invest in businesses with clear growth potential that require direct capital investment to grow, expand productive capacity or diversify into new markets or products. Your project must be based in the rural areas of Northumberland, North Tyneside or Newcastle. We can offer grants ranging from £20,000 upwards at a maximum intervention rate of 40%. In order to access the grant, you must be looking to create a minimum of one full time job, and operate in one of our target sectors:

  • Food and drink production 
  • Manufacturing
  • Knowledge intensive businesses
  • Culture, creative and tourism (excluding retail and accommodation)
  • Energy products and services
  • Environmental products and services

To find out whether you can make an application to this fund, you must register with us here.

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Do you qualify for support?

If you are a business owner looking to grow your business, or you are simply navigating your way through the Covid19 pandemic, we want to hear from you. Check if you are eligible for our support now.

Who we are 

Advance Northumberland is an economic regeneration company, established by Northumberland County Council with a clear remit to improve prosperity, quality of life and increase business activity throughout the communities of Northumberland.

Wholly owned by Northumberland County Council and with a board made up of public and private sectors, Advance Northumberland is the Council’s primary regeneration delivery vehicle. It employs a wide range of investment, development and regeneration capabilities to shape places and promote economic growth and prosperity in Northumberland. 

The diversity of the partnership gives the project an extensive reach, particularly in the sphere of engagement with SMEs in the rural area and a strong track record of delivering business support provision.

Advance Northumberland Business has an established track record as a provider of inward investment and of delivering business support provision.

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Our Partners

The North of Tyne Combined Authority is a partnership of three local authorities: Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland and a directly-elected Metro Mayor. ​

For the new North of Tyne Combined Authority, the future focus is on positive change. We want to quickly and decisively make a real and positive impact on people’s lives, businesses and communities. Our vision is of a dynamic and more inclusive economy, one that brings together people and opportunities to create vibrant communities and a high quality of life, narrowing inequalities and ensuring that all residents have a stake in our region’s future.

Growing plants


NBSL are working with us to deliver our technical specialist one to one support. They are one of the longest established and most successful business support organisations in the region, helping people to start and grow businesses right across the North East of England for over eighteen years. 

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