Business Support

Support measures for businesses

Find out about the support you can get for your business.

A full range of business support measures and funding packages have been made available to UK businesses.

We have created this page help our members find out how to access the support that has been made available and understand who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

NB. Whilst we work closely with our stakeholder groups to obtain and share the latest information, further funding & support may be available.


Innovation loans: April 2021 open competition

Businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy. 

Posted: 1 June 2021

Innovate UK SMART grants May 2021

UK-registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable research and development innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

Posted 1 June 2021

ISCF smart sustainable plastic packaging: business-led research and development

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7 million for research and development projects with the potential to significantly impact the 2025 UK Plastic Pact targets.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Creative Industries Fund: fast start business growth pilot

UK-registered micro and small businesses in the creative sector can apply for a package of support to grow their business. This package includes ongoing support from Innovate UK EDGE and funding of up to £25,000 for innovation projects.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Young Innovators Awards 2021/22

Young people can apply for an award to make their business idea a reality, which includes a grant for £5,000, a living allowance, and tailored business support.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Biomedical catalyst 2021: early and late-stage awards

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £18 million to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes

Posted: 1 June 2021

Addressing limitations in manufacturing nucleic acid therapeutics

Apply for funding to set up a research consortium addressing challenges in the manufacture of nucleic acid therapeutics.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Innovation in time dissemination and application

UK registered organisations can apply for support for business-led innovation in resilient time, frequency and synchronisation.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Hydrogen transport hub: demonstration

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £2.5 million. This is to demonstrate how green hydrogen can be used to power transport solutions for end users.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Expression of interest: Automotive Transformation Fund round 11

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 billion for capital-centric investment projects. The project must help industrialise the electrified automotive supply chain at scale in the UK.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Driving the electric revolution: supply chains for net zero

UK registered businesses can apply for funding to research supply chain development for power electronics, electric machines and drives.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Knowledge transfer partnerships: 2021 to 2022, round two

UK registered academic institutions, research and technology organisations (RTOs) or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £6 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not-for-profits.

Posted: 1 June 2021

SBRI: Fusion industry challenges

Organisations can apply for a share of £2 million, inclusive of VAT, to develop solutions that accelerate fusion power plant design and reduce their fuel requirements.

Posted: 1 June 2021

SME Brexit support fund – closing date 30th June

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund will offer support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

Posted: 28 May

Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2 Competition: expression of interest

The Government has announced a £166.5m funding package to develop technologies in carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal and hydrogen, whilst also helping find solutions to decarbonise the UK’s polluting sectors.

Posted: 25 May

Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub – Competition Briefing

Up to £3m is available to support a series of hydrogen transport demonstrations across Tees Valley.

Posted: 4 May 2021

New grant available to North East SME’s

The grants will provide a 40% contribution up to a maximum of £4,000 for projects totalling up to £10,000, have now opened for expressions of interest.

Posted: 23 April 2021

UK Community Renewal Fund

Applications are now open to the UK Community Renewal Fund, which will help finance innovative new projects to boost local growth and revitalise communities by building on local knowledge and targeting those who need it most.

Posted: 14 April 2021

DigitalCity Accelerator Programme – 2021

The DigitalCity Accelerator Programme has been designed to accelerate the growth of recently established digital/tech companies that are bringing new products and services to market. 

Posted: 13 April 2021

Leading UK businesses and researchers in £75 million collaboration to create technologies of the future

Nine innovative business-led research partnerships to develop technologies such as accelerated medicine discovery, green household products and sensor technology for drivers.

Posted: 12 April 2021

Recovery Loan Scheme

  • New loan scheme will provide further support to protect businesses and jobs
  • Loans will include 80% government guarantee and interest rate cap
  • Government has backed £75 billion of loans to date as part of unprecedented £350 billion wider support package

8 April 2021

New £20 million fund to grow UK life sciences manufacturing opens for applications

  • Applications open for new £20 million fund to support the manufacture of medicines, diagnostics and MedTech in the UK
  • fund will boost the UK offer in life sciences manufacturing, creating economic opportunities and highly skilled jobs across the country

Posted: 7 April, 2021

Newcastle University ARROW: Innovation Support for SMEs

Newcastle University’s Arrow programme is designed to make it easier for SMEs to collaborate with the University in order to support and boost research and innovation in the North East LEP region.

Posted: 30 March 2021

IETF holding Business Stakeholder Clinics & Virtual Technology Marktetplace for new £40m competition

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in collaboration with Innovate UK, recently opened the new Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) IETF Phase 1: Spring 2021 competition and will be hosting a series of stakeholder clinics throughout the competition window to help and support businesses interested in applying for IETF funding.

Posted 23 March 2021

£20m Brexit Support Fund- now open for applications

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund aims to enable traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes. Small businesses can apply for grants of up to £2,000 in order to help them navigate new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.

Posted 17 March 2021

Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support (NEBS)

Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support, is a project part funded by the ERDF, which will be launched in January 2021. Its aim is to enhance the capacity and capability for growth of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the creation of new enterprises in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Posted 15 March

Help to Grow programme

Take your business to the next level with the government’s new Help to Grow programme.

The programme will help small and medium sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits.

Posted 11 March 2021

New Grant Launched To Help Businesses Become Energy Efficient And Save Money

Companies could claim back up to 45% of the upfront costs of their energy-saving project.

Posted 10 March 2021

The Skills for Growth Programme

The Skills for Growth Programme can help you identify your business’s skills gaps and access the employee training needed to grow your business.

Tees Valley Business’s Skills for Growth Programme is here to help Tees Valley SMEs fill any skills gaps within their team – now, or in the future – to boost productivity, and improve their competitive position.

Posted 9 March 2021

Winning and successfully completing contracts

FW Capital are hosting a webinar that will help you better manage the tender and bid process to help your business win contracts and cover funding options available when bonds are required by your client.

Posted 8 March 2021

*Now open* £40 million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) competition window for businesses

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in collaboration with Innovate UK, has today opened the new Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) IETF Phase 1: Spring 2021 competition window.

Posted 8 March 2021

North East Business Support Fund

NBSL have been able to secure further investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the value of £1.6m to support 730 businesses. The North East Business Support fund has been extended until March 2023. 

Posted 4 March 2021

Tees Valley Catalyst Fund

A £10 million fund which helps ambitious businesses bid for new contracts by providing short-term loans. FW Capital manages the fund on behalf of Tees Valley Combined Authority and the fund is supported by the Regional Growth Fund. The fund can reinvest loans that are repaid to support more businesses in the future.

Posted 2 March 2021

Growth Spark Vouchers – Grants of up to £10k

Grow Tees Valley’s ‘Growth Spark Voucher’ is designed to help Tees Valley SMEs develop or improve, their products and services. Grants of up to £10k are available (for a project valued at £20k), and the grant can be used towards consultancy, capital and consumable costs to deliver growth plans.

Posted 24 February 2021

Stay and Succeed North East

Stay and Succeed is a unique internship project (funded by the Office for Students) which aims to implement strategic engagement to ensure North East graduates can access higher level employment in their home locality, contributing to regional industry and economy. As part of this project, Newcastle College University Centre will make a £10,000 contribution towards an intern’s salary for a 12-month internship.

Posted 23 February 2021

Industrial Energy Transformation Fund holding business briefing event for new £40 million competition

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in collaboration with Innovate UK, recently launched the next opportunity to bid for funding from the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and would like to invite you to join the IETF Phase 1: Spring 2021 competition briefing webinar on Thursday 11 March.

Posted 23 February 2021

£8 million government boost for manufacturers across England to go digital

The funding, part of the government’s Made Smarter Adoption programme, will support up to 1,000 small and medium sized manufacturers, across the North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands regions, in adopting digital technology.

Posted 19 February 2021

DASA Funding competition: Royal Navy Autonomous Underwater Capability

This competition provides an opportunity to undertake at-sea testing and trials on an Extra Large Uncrewed Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV), as part of the Royal Navy’s Autonomous Underwater Capability programme. This is an opportunity to test on-board systems, sensors and payloads to support the Royal Navy’s understanding of the utility and operational boundaries of uncrewed underwater vehicle systems.

Posted 18 February 2021

Free EU Business Support for Tees Valley Businesses

Doing business with Europe has changed. Even though a EU–UK Trade Agreement is in place, there are still important steps you might need to take to make sure your business complies with the new rules. If your business is based in Tees Valley, then Tees Valley Business’s EU Exit Support Team is on-hand with free support to help you keep your business moving, and to support you to make the most of any new opportunities.

Posted 18 February 2021

Game Changers Challenge – Nuclear Industry

An initial grant of £10,000 is available to fund an exploration of each idea that may lead to solutions to these challenges. Successful projects can be extended with more extensive Proof of Concept funding. The ultimate goal is to drive innovations through to commercial deployment. There will be interactive workshops to provide further technical information relating to each of the challenges during the first week of March.

Posted 17 February 2021

£20m SME Brexit support fund announced

Government has announced a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. SMEs who trade only with the EU and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.

Posted 16 February 2021

DiT North East Export Academy – Free, in-depth virtual training programme

Join the Department for International Trade North East for a free in-depth virtual training programme, delivered by international trade specialists, to learn everything you need to know about trading overseas successfully.

Posted 12 February 2021

Free online learning with Newcastle College

Newcastle College is offering a range of free online courses, all designed to help you and your workforce adapt to the challenges of Covid-19. Whether your team want to improve their digital skills, enhance their understanding of health and safety during a pandemic, or learn how to manage their anxiety and help others do the same, they can choose from a range of courses.

Posted 12 February 2021

The Digital Skills for Growth training programme

The Digital Skills for Growth programme is providing ten, jam-packed accredited courses set to take place online from 2nd March to 19th May. Including both half-day and full-day sessions, the courses are available to public, private and voluntary sector workers from any industry or size, including those on furlough.

Posted 10 February 2021

12m funding competition for farm-focused innovations to improve food productivity

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is working with ISCF Transforming Food Production to boost investment in the agricultural sector. The new £12m Farming Innovation Pathways funding competition is for collaborative feasibility studies and industrial research projects that focus on the development of innovative farm-focused technologies, systems or approaches to help improve food productivity, as well as increasing resilience and sustainability in line with net zero ambitions.

Posted 10 February 2021

The Energy Innovation Challenge

SMEs in the North East could receive up to £40,000 of funding to help develop new ways of using materials within the energy sector. The Energy Innovation Challenge, organised by the North East Energy Catalyst, invites businesses to put forward new ways of using materials to reduce costs, improve efficiency, or bring other benefits to energy infrastructure.

Posted 9 February 2021

£40m Government funding to help polluting businesses clean up

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be launching a new Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) competition window in Spring 2021 due to the large amount of interest we received during the recent competition that closed on 28 October 2020. This competition will run along similar lines to the recent Phase 1 competition. More information about the next competition window will be provided in due course.

Posted 9 February 2021

Industrial Energy Transformation Fund competition window launching in Spring 2021

Some of the UK’s most polluting industries will benefit from £40 million funding to help them cut their carbon emissions, while reducing their energy bills. Businesses in energy-intensive sectors, including pharmaceuticals, steel, paper and food and drink, will be able to apply for grants worth up to £14 million through the government’s Industrial Energy Transformation Fund – totalling £289 million in funding up until 2024.

Posted 4 February 2021

£3m scheme to boost local skills gaps & grow local firms

The new Skills for Growth Programme is the latest support launched by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen to help companies deal with the impact of the coronavirus and secure their future, following initiatives such as Buy Local Tees Valley, the Welcome Back Fund, Back to Business Fund and the Emergency Apprenticeship Fund.

Posted 3 February 2021

Digital City’s Accelerator programme – 10 week course and access to a development grant of £5k

DigitalCity are on the lookout to welcome more exciting early-stage tech companies onto their next Accelerator programme which will take place online starting Wednesday 24 February 2021. If you’re a Tees Valley start-up that’s planning to launch a new digital product or service, this programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to thrive in the digital world we live in today.

Posted 26 January 2021

Large Collaborative R&D Projects

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £8 million for collaborative cross-sector, research and development projects. The aim of this competition is to improve the productivity and competitiveness of foundation industry companies and supply chains, by funding cross-sector collaborative research and development projects.

Posted 20 January 2021

Made Smarter Challenges by Digital Catapult

Madesmarter has now released the challenges coming from their latest accelerator, with high profile challenges holders such as BAE, Sainsbury’s and Babcock. The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator Industry Challenge Owners have worked to define and scope challenges that our cohort of startups will address through technology prototype development. As a manufacturing and challenge focused programme, applications must meet one of the challenge briefs. Could any of your solutions or ideas help solve these challenges and receive £100,000 to prototype?

Posted 19 January 2021

DiT Digital Transformation programme

Join the Department for International Trade North East for a free in-depth virtual training programme, delivered by digital specialists, to learn everything you need to know about transforming your business’s international digital strategy.

Posted 19 January 2021

£5m grant launched to boost recovery of County Durham Businesses

Businesses are set to benefit from a new £5 million grant funded by Durham County Council to help them implement recovery plans to overcome the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the economy and recovery is likely to take time, particularly with the current lockdown and potential for further tiered restrictions in the future.

Posted 14 January 2021

Tees Valley Peer Network programme

There’s never been a more important time to prepare your business for the future. Join likeminded businesses and work together to find practical solutions to the challenges you’re all facing. Through Peer Networks, your business could get up to 9 hours of FREE specialist support from a panel of local businesses and professional advisors to suit the needs of your business, as identified in the group sessions.

Posted 14 January 2021

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