News story

More than £22 million for business communities in North East announced

Chancellor announces funding to support business growth in the North East, with special focus on rural communities.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon George Osborne MP, today (Thursday 3 July) announced £22.5 million funding to support business growth in the North East - with special focus on rural communities over the next five years from 2015.

The programme will operate across County Durham, Gateshead and rural Northumberland, with the investments made through two grant funds: the Small Business Growth Fund and the Economic Infrastructure Fund.

This will fund:

  • the development of workspaces; this could include refurbishment of existing buildings, bringing redundant buildings back into use, and new build developments
  • the creation of rural ‘enterprise hubs’, providing flexible workspace for small businesses
  • investment in tourist attractions and accommodation
  • investment in new equipment to help small business grow where they may have struggled to raise finance from other sources

The money will be allocated over five years and be made up of £6 million government funding, private sector investment of £9.5 million, and £7 million of European funding.

The Chancellor made the announcement at a visit to Simpson Malt in Berwick upon tweed.

More than 150 years old, Simpsons Malt is now managed by a team including two members of the fifth generation of the Simpson family and produces 280,000 tonnes of premium malt for brewing, distilling and food industries worldwide.

He was shown how the business has thrived since its foundation and has invested more than £90 million in its core malting business during the past 30 years.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

Our long term economic plan is about delivering jobs and growth across all parts of Britain, and three quarters of the net new private sector jobs created since 2010 have been outside London.

Backing small businesses here in the North East is a key part of this plan which is why we are creating this new fund for business communities in Northumberland, County Durham and Gateshead, totalling over £22 million.

By supporting these business hubs across the region we can create a more balanced, resilient economy.

Published 3 July 2014