North of Tyne Combined Authority Launches £8m programme of support for Rural Businesses

The North of Tyne Rural Business Growth Service is a £7.896m brand new business support project, which plans to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in the rural areas of the North of Tyne Combined Authority Area over the next three years.

The main objective is to provide a bespoke, locally accessible, business support and advice service, which will focus on meeting the specialized needs of rural businesses with the development of business growth plans. This support will also aid businesses in their Covid response resilience planning.

The programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 (ERDF) and the North of Tyne Combined Authority. The service is being delivered using a variety of methods to ensure easy access for businesses across the North of Tyne Combined Authority Areas.

The North of Tyne Rural Business Growth Service is delivered by Advance Northumberland and Northumberland County Council and has two linked components:

  • Business Advice and Support Services to support the development of growth plans and guide businesses towards appropriate sources of finance. Providing a single point of contact, with access to 1-2-1 specialist advice via a pool of Technical Advisors that specialise in business planning, financial planning and management, financial projections, supply chain, resilience planning, legal advice and taxation.
  • A Capital Grant Investment Fund to support investment in projects that enable rural businesses to expand productive capacity and / or diversify into new markets or products which will lead to new job creation.

The programme will help address the scale up challenges faced by businesses with growth potential in rural areas, supporting access to suitable finance products, enabling growth and maximising opportunities. The scheme will help drive increased productivity and business performance, encouraging more overseas trading and incentivising business innovation.

Fully funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and the European Regional Development Programme 2014-2020, it provides access to a dedicated enterprise specialist, a range of technical advisors and access to a grant programme for eligible businesses.

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Place and Productivity and Leader of Northumberland County Council Cllr Peter Jackson said:

“As we begin our road to recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, support like this will be crucial for many companies.  

“The service will not only provide bespoke business advice and support, it will play a key role in helping rural business grow and diversify and discover new markets - something which could be critical going forward.

“I hope as many of our SMEs as possible take up the offer of support through this programme.”

North of Tyne cabinet member for Economic Growth Cllr Bruce Pickard said:

“This is excellent news for businesses in rural areas.

“It’s part of more than £19 million for business offered by the North of Tyne Combined Authority that is intended to support growth and innovation, boost rural economies, and bring new investment to Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.

“Businesses are the building blocks of our economy and it is exactly this kind of support to them that will be crucial in the region’s recovery from Covid-19.”

To find out more, please contact the Rural Business Growth Team on 01670 528 400 or email


Notes to Editors:

European Regional Development Fund

The project has received up to £7.896m 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


Northern Powerhouse

The Northern Powerhouse is a key aspect of this Government’s approach to addressing the productivity gap in the North and ensuring a stronger, more sustainable economy for all parts of the UK. Alongside over €1.5 billion of European Regional Development Fund support for businesses and communities across the North, the government has awarded £3.4 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Northern Powerhouse.


About Advance Northumberland

Advance Northumberland is a unique 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.

Focusing on the needs and aspirations of the county, addressing economic and housing challenges whilst capitalising on Northumberland’s significant assets and opportunities, Advance Northumberland will seek to provide positive intervention across carefully selected regeneration, business support and placeshaping projects.

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.


Contact for further information

Alexandra Wiley, Marketing and Communications Manager
Advance Northumberland
Tel: 01670 528495