£1.35m to support businesses

A NEW scheme with £1.35m in funding has been launched to help new business start-ups and existing companies.

Two new programmes will help entrepreneurs start a new business while there will be coaching to help those already established identify accelerated growth.

Half of the £1.35m has been provided by development company Arch and Northumberland County Council, with the other half being funded by the North East European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) competitiveness programme.

The investment is part of the council’s enterprise action plan, which aims to increase the number of businesses in the county and ensure they can grow.

The service, called ‘Business Northumberland’, includes information and guidance by telephone and a website; workshops; mentoring support; hands on support and advice.

Peter McIntyre, Arch group managing director, said: “We firmly believe our investment will help the Northumberland economy to grow as innovative enterprises and dynamic new business ideas are supported to realise their potential.

“The programme will help to kick-start enterprise support as well as providing valuable help to new businesses.”

Kate Roe, deputy chief executive of the council, said: “Supporting and enabling economic growth is a key priority for the council and this initiative will raise the quality of support on offer to businesses and entrepreneurs across Northumberland.

“It will also help to establish a flexible approach that can adapt to changing circumstances, opportunities and needs over time.”

For more about the service visit www.businessnorthumberland.co.uk