April 28, 2020 @ 14:31 by Alison Cowie
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has strengthened the North East Growth Hub’s Supply Chain North East programme to help regional businesses adapt operations to the ongoing UK-wide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) challenge.
A flagship North East LEP business growth scheme, Supply Chain North East is delivered by RTC North in partnership with NEAA, NEPIC and Generator/Digital Union.
Capital grants programme enhancements have been made in recognition of the constraints faced by many businesses at present.
They include the ability for the Supply Chain North East scheme to make payments at the start of a project. SMEs can also access up to 60 per cent in grants (increased from a cap of 40 per cent) towards stalled pipeline projects due to COVID-19 or activities aimed at developing the supply chain.
Critically, grants up to 80 per cent are available for organisations which can potentially support supply chain needs relating to the health and social care sectors, for example in the provision of PPE, respirators and other products.
The funding has been made available from Government’s Local Growth Fund via the North East LEP.
Colin Bell, business growth director at the North East LEP, said: “The changes to the Supply Chain North East programme are significant because they provide the ability to speed up the supply of PPE and other products and services needed in the fight against COVID-19.
“We are determined to give businesses the support they need to unlock projects that will allow them to thrive in the future and this is big step towards that goal.”
Jamie Ollivere, managing director at RTC North, said: “In response to COVID-19, it’s vital businesses know that through the Supply Chain North East programme they can get immediate support. Our team is poised to help businesses respond directly to supply chain demands in healthcare and to support other projects that will help them build resilience and put them on a path back to growth.”