Funding support to boost micro-businesses

A new £1million grant fund is set to help small businesses in the rural North East to grow and help strengthen the local economy.

Launched by the North East Rural Growth Network, it aims to allow new or existing businesses with less than 10 employees to develop new and much-needed jobs.

The £1million grant fund is being provided from Defra’s Rural Development Programme for England and is in addition to £3.2million already invested by Defra in the pilot North East Rural Growth Network. The Small Business Growth Fund complements other support from the Rural Growth Network programme and is seeking to support more than 30 micro-enterprises during 2013 in Northumberland, Durham and Gateshead.

Rural enterprises will be able to apply for grant funding of between £10,000 and £150,000, and applicants must meet 60 per cent of project costs.

For criteria or further details, visit www.northum or call Alison Hesselberth on 01670 623924.