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Business & Economy

GX Project supports North East SMEs with new grants and innovation programmes

A business support project has provided grants totalling nearly £90,000 to SMEs looking to drive innovation in its latest wave of funding.

Since the GX Project started in 2018, £245,000 of funding has been granted to businesses in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, with 23 new companies supported since March 2020.

The GX project is a legacy organisation of the Great Exhibition of the North, designed to support innovation and collaboration among North East SMEs.

It is managed by the NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) and Innovation SuperNetwork, who have been running a series of webinars, meetings and workshops to support businesses through the current challenges surrounding COVID-19.

One company to benefit from the most recent round of grants is Sunderland-based education recruitment platform, Premier Teachers.

Mike Donnelly, managing director of Premier Teachers, said: ““The GX Project has been a fantastic help to our business. I was surprised at how streamlined the grant application process was and the support from the team at GX has been excellent.

“I think in these current times, all businesses should be looking at what innovative products they could be exploring. Although it requires some time investment, it can yield results beyond what the business can achieve without innovation.

“If you have an innovation project and are looking at support, I would highly recommend linking in with GX activities to help your project.”

The GX Project has also recently launched an Innovation Boot Camp to help businesses in the current situation build on new or existing ideas that will help them adapt to the changing demands of the market.

Sophie Hardwick, GX innovation manager at NGI, said: “We’re speaking to businesses every day that are adapting their business model to respond to the changing demands of their customer base.

“This programme is designed to offer expert guidance and support through the process of innovation development.”