£1.7million fund for business start-ups

Development company Arch is commissioning a new package of enterprise support to help new and growing businesses in the county.

The investment is part of Northumberland County Council’s Enterprise Action Plan 2012/2015, which aims to increase the number of businesses in the county and ensure they are best able to survive, thrive and grow.

Peter McIntyre, managing director of the Arch Group, said: “We are taking a fresh approach to helping new and growing business enterprises in Northumberland by making a major investment of £1.7million to March 2015.

“We firmly believe our investment will help the Northumberland economy to grow as innovative enterprises and dynamic new businesses ideas are supported to realise their potential.”

Northumberland County Council and Arch will provide half of the funds with the balance being sought from the European Regional Development Fund.

The focus will be on south east Northumberland with additional services to be commissioned to serve rural areas of the county.

Coun Jeff Reid, leader of Northumberland County Council and chairman of Arch, said: “More businesses and stronger businesses are vital if the county is to provide opportunities for local people, and build a sustainable economy.”

Arch is progressing a tender process to deliver the services and expects the extensive package to be in place from December this year.