Rural Growth Network

Strengthening the rural economy

Rural Growth Network

The North East Rural Growth Network spans Northumberland, Durham and Gateshead and aims to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in rural locations. Capital funding for business growth is available for businesses located in rural locations.

The Rural Growth Network has specific funding and expertise available for businesses located in rural locations, to help generate rural economic growth.

We are committed to this capital business growth programme which has received significant financial support through the Local Growth Fund to support rural businesses and stimulate business growth within the rural areas of Northumberland, Durham and Gateshead. 

If your business, or indeed your business’ ambition, sits within the identified areas, please visit the Rural Growth Network or contact a member of the network here.

Funding opportunities

There are two grant programmes available:-

Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund (SEIF)

This capital fund will provide 40% of eligible costs to support the development of business infrastructure projects in rural areas to help unlock economic growth. Activities which can be supported include:

  • Enterprise hubs. There is no formal definition of an ‘enterprise hub’ but these must accommodate multiple businesses and should encourage networking linkages between businesses. For an illustration of enterprise  hubs in the rural North East, some of which have been developed with NE RGN pilot programme funding, please visit Rural Connect
  • New or re-furbished business accommodation for multiple businesses, including industrial units, managed workspace and serviced office accommodation
  • Site preparation for a developer / end user to bring forward.
  • Tourism infrastructure projects of a strategic nature e.g. developments that will have direct and also notable indirect benefits for other tourism related businesses in the rural economy. Tourism projects must demonstrate how they will increase the quality of the tourist experience and help to attract more visitors from outside of the NELEP area and attract more overnight visitors.

Rural Business Growth Fund (RBGF)

A small business grant scheme that will support investment projects that enable rural businesses to expand productivity or diversify into new markets or products.  Grants will be available at 40% of eligible costs from a minimum of £10,000 to £60,000 subject to State Aid rules . Activities which can be supported include:-

  • improvements/expansion of business premises; and
  • purchase of equipment.

Further information

Information on Grant Calls.

For further information on the programme contact one of the RGN Implementation Officers based at Arch:-

Email Julie Bullen, [email protected], or call 01670 528 476

Email Katy McIntosh, [email protected] or call 01670 528489

For more information, contact Arch Northumberland.

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