UMi and the North of Tyne Growth Fund generate 592 new jobs and fuel local business growth

In a nutshell… 

  • 592 jobs were created in the North of Tyne as a result of project funding. 
  • 24 projects received grant support, with an average value of £134k per project. 

UMi was the Delivery Partner for the North of Tyne Growth Fund (NTGF) that provided grant support to SMEs across the North of Tyne region in the North East of England. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the scheme aimed to stimulate sustainable business growth and create jobs. 

SMEs play a crucial role in the regional economy. However, many face challenges when it comes to securing funds for growth, especially for capital investment projects that involve upfront costs but promise long-term returns. The North of Tyne, similar to the broader North East, is full of potential, but it's up against substantial hurdles in terms of productivity, innovation, and competitiveness. 

In response to this, the NTGF was established to provide grant support to SMEs in Northumberland, North Tyneside, and Newcastle local authority areas. The fund is aimed at capital investment projects that can showcase potential for both growth and job creation. 

The scheme ran from January 2020, coming to an end in August 2023 and was an overall success. Through its support of many SMEs with both funding and advice, the NTGF generated wealth for the wider North East, as well as helping achieve individual growth goals. 

As the designated Delivery Partner, UMi took on the responsibility of overseeing the entire process of the grant programme. This included everything from its design to handling applications, making payments, and monitoring beneficiaries. UMi utilised its extensive experience and expertise in grant management, drawing on successful models from past grant programs such as ERDF and Regional Growth Fund to ensure adherence to regulations, efficiency, and overall effectiveness. 

The UMi team also handled demand stimulation. Employing various marketing techniques, they effectively boosted awareness and sparked interest among SMEs. A group of field advisers, dedicated to the project, was also sent out to offer personalised support and guidance to SMEs throughout the application process. 

Over its duration, £3.05m worth of grants was distributed to 21 businesses, supporting 24 different projects – averaging at £127k per project. A staggering amount of investment providing a much-needed financial injection to recipient businesses, allowing them to achieve their ambitious plans with a reduced risk to them. 

Funding was used for a variety of reasons ranging from a complete and brand-new facility to a singular CNC machine. Despite the apparent differences in scale of investments, all had a profound impact on companies’ growth in terms of workload capacity, revenue, and employment. 

On this front, the scheme surpassed its job creation aims, succeeding in creating 592 new jobs as a result of funding – more than double its original target. Combined with private sector investment also exceeding expectations, totalling £13.8m by the schemes end, the benefit to the North East economy is clear. 

The NTGF, thanks to the tireless efforts and dedication of everyone involved, produced these outcomes. These results have had a direct and positive impact on the regional economy, benefiting not only the SMEs directly involved but also businesses of all sizes and the residents of the North East. 

Chris Walker, Project Manager, North of Tyne Combined Authority, said: “Schemes like this are incredibly important to local businesses who need support to boost productivity and continue to be competitive, as well as maintaining an environment where people from the area can grow and thrive. 

“The key outcomes of this fund include job creation, product innovation, and private sector leverage. Meeting these targets has provided a huge boost to businesses and the region as a whole. Everyone involved, whether in the scheme’s delivery or as a recipient of funding, should be proud of the part they have played in supporting the North of Tyne region.” 

Mike Baker, Senior Project Manager of the North of Tyne Growth Fund, added: “It’s been a fulfilling time working on the North of Tyne Growth Fund; working with local SMEs and seeing firsthand how the scheme has impacted their business by supporting their ambitions and creating opportunities for all. 

“Although this fund has ended, I would encourage any company in Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside or Sunderland with an ambition to grow through a capital investment project to take a look at the Business Growth Fund – a new grant scheme, very similar to The North of Tyne Growth Fund, providing support once again to SMEs in the region. 

“Get in touch with our team by phone: 0191 716 1007, or email:” 

Jenny Hudson, Business Development Director at Transmission Dynamics said: “The North of Tyne Growth Fund was crucial to help de-risk the heavy investment we made in our purpose-built R&D and Manufacturing facility. As a result, we have a high specification, specialist facility that’s given us the capacity we desperately needed to unlock our ambitious growth plans. Since moving in a year ago, we have doubled income and profits and created highly skilled jobs in the region.  
“We would strongly encourage regional businesses to make the most of this fantastic support programme, to deliver your growth plans.  
“Brent and the team at UMi are experts at articulating the criteria and navigating the processes to help SMEs access these funds and are a pleasure to work with”.