New £3.5m grant fund for businesses looking to grow with capital investment

Are you a business in the North of Tyne area, Gateshead, or Sunderland with ambitions to grow? A brand-new funding scheme, the Business Growth Fund, is here to support you on your journey to success. 

Managed in partnership by UMi, and UNW LLP, this exciting new scheme is the successor to The Growth Fund and North of Tyne Growth Fund, which concluded in the summer of 2023.  

The Business Growth Fund comes with many more opportunities for companies in the region. 

The scheme is funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council and Sunderland City Council through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). 

The UKSPF is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda, aiming to improve the standard of living across the UK by investing in communities, supporting local businesses, people, and skills. Because of this the Business Growth Fund is available to a much broader range of businesses. 

So, whether you’re an early-stage business or well-established, you may be eligible to benefit from this funding opportunity and drive growth in your company. 

About the Scheme 

  1. Funding uses: The grants are designed to stimulate and accelerate business investment in new assets such as technologies and processes that will improve productivity and encourage growth. Projects must also create new and better employment opportunities, increase productivity and profitability, and grow wages.
  2. Funding available: The scheme offers a substantial £3.5 million total funding, which means there's a lot to go around. Grants are available from £20,000 upwards and will support up to 30% of total eligible project costs, so businesses can tailor applications to suit their specific needs.
  3. Timeline: The fund launched in November 2023 and remains open until December 2024. This extended timeframe allows businesses to plan their growth projects and prepare their applications thoroughly - if you need help with this, check out our video on how to structure you grant application.

UMi, an organisation known for its support of SMEs, has been awarded the contract to help deliver the Business Growth Fund and are well-equipped to steer the course.  

The fund is managed and delivered by experts in UMi’s Investment Centre team, who have an extensive track record of delivering this kind of support and are committed to helping businesses to do more and go further. 

With this experienced group at the helm, it is expected that around approximately 27 businesses from the region will benefit from funding, assuring applicants of a fair evaluation and distribution of grants. 

Dave Jones, Project Manager at UMi said: “The new Business Growth Fund is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in the North of Tyne area, Gateshead, and Sunderland. It builds on the legacy of the previous schemes, providing more accessible and substantial funding opportunities for businesses.  

“With UMi's involvement and an experienced management team, this scheme is your gateway to successful growth. 

“I would encourage any company looking to grow through capital investment to get in touch with our team" 

Cllr Carl Johnson, NTCA Cabinet Member for Investment and Resources said: “This is an exciting prospect for businesses with ambitions to grow, and for us who want to see their plans succeed. 

“We are committed to supporting businesses through periods of uncertainty and it’s programmes such as this that allow us to deliver and improve people’s lives. That’s why we’re here; to provide opportunities, create jobs and to put in place the right programmes to get our businesses and our people ready to grow and flourish when the time comes.” 

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Our broad range of businesses, both large and small, are the lifeblood of the city’s economy, creating jobs and opportunities for people in Sunderland, so giving them the best chance to succeed by supporting investments that unlock growth potential is vital.  We’re delighted UMi, a firm, experienced in working with businesses, will be able to provide this assistance to firms in Sunderland.” 

Cllr Malcom Brian, Cabinet Member for economy said: “Our aim is to support all businesses to thrive, we are dedicated to ensuring that we can provide opportunities to support businesses in Gateshead through support and training.  

Now with the expertise of UMI and in partnership with them will be able to offer businesses a unique opportunity to access dedicated funding to help them deliver on projects which will support the growth of the local economy.”  

The Business Growth Fund is an opportunity to transform your business through growth and innovation. Start your journey to business success get in touch with our team via the Business Growth Fund website, or emailing