July 16, 2020 @ 11:40 by Alison Cowie
A North of Tyne Growth Fund panel has been assembled to review applications and award grant funding to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as the COVID-19 lockdown eases.
Public and private sector professionals will work together on the panel to ensure funding is awarded appropriately, best suiting the needs of the people and businesses in the North of Tyne area.
North of Tyne cabinet member for Economic Growth Cllr Bruce Pickard said: “Now more than ever, support for businesses in the North of Tyne is key.
“The business and local knowledge of our private sector panel members will allow us to best allocate the funds throughout our communities.
“Through collaboration, the Growth Fund Panel will be able to award funding and support to our SMEs, which will improve our economy, employment and long-term growth.”
The North of Tyne Growth Fund is a £4.6m European Regional Development Fund that aims to support SMEs across Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle local authority areas to create employment and stimulate business growth. The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Programme 2014-2020.
The fund will also leverage £10.5 million of private sector investment.
Chloe Hall, Growth Fund panel member and founder of award-winning business Bumble and Bloom said: “I am extremely passionate about where I live and work and very much want to see businesses of all shapes and sizes grow and innovate right here on my doorstep.
“I worked my way up from a start-up and it was that sheer grit and determination that got me to where I am today. I want to be someone who recognises and celebrates that on the panel.”
Imran Ghafoor, panel member and managing director of FIG Enterprises Limited said: “The North of Tyne Growth Fund is a great opportunity for small to medium-sized enterprises based in the Newcastle, North Tyneside or Northumberland areas to ascertain grant funding for business growth purposes.”
Jason Hobbs, panellist and CEO of The North East Fund said: “The North of Tyne Growth Fund aims to stimulate and support businesses with high growth potential, as well as generating additional employment and I’m looking forward to working with the region’s ambitious businesses through the North of Tyne Growth Fund”.
Barrie Rhodes, panel member and Business Development Director at CPI said: “We have many strong companies in our region, and I’m privileged to be involved in the processes that sit behind the fund.
“I look forward to looking through your ambitious application and wish you good luck.”