Investment in the North East

What funding is available in the North East?

We manage multi million pound investment programmes designed to improve and support the North East’s economy. Over the period 2015 -2021, our investment programmes are valued at over £760m.

We also support a number of other funds that are directly linked to the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan, including the European Funding programme.

We manage the North East Growth Hub which contains a comprehensive directory of access to finance available within the region.

If you are interested in our inward investment opportunities, please contact the Invest North East England Team.

Funding opportunities

Some of the funds we manage and support are open for applications from North East businesses. To find out more about the applications that are currently open, click here.

Planning for future funding opportunities

The North East LEP Innovation Programme delivery team is currently working on developing a prioritised pipeline of potential projects to champion for future funding.

Please note, this is not an application process for funding.  Full details on how to get involved can be found here.

Our investment portfolio

Our investment portfolio is made up of the following funds which are managed in accordance with our Assurance Framework and also under an EU registered GBER AID scheme.

Funding awards are published on either ‘non-state aid’ or ‘state aid’ lists and can be viewed here.

Local Growth Fund

We are currently investing £270m of Local Growth Funding. This is a capital funding programme that supports transport and skills infrastructure schemes, specialised innovation and research facilities and infrastructure on strategic employment sites, as well as the development of new industrial and commercial premises. 


North East Investment Fund

The North East Investment Fund is an evergreen capital loan fund supporting projects that specifically encourage local economic growth and create jobs in our area. The fund totals £55m and is a combination of £25m Growing Places funding and £30m Regional Growth Fund. Approximately £8m is currently available for investment in North East businesses.

Enterprise Zones

The North East Enterprise Zone covers 21 sites across the region. It provides tax breaks and government support and the sites offer a great place to do business, for both new and expanding firms. Established in 2012, Enterprise Zones are at the heart of the government’s long-term economic plan, supporting businesses to grow.

Other funding streams

We also support a number of other strategic funding streams that support the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan.

European Funding

The 2014-2020 European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) will inject more than £437m into the North East. These funds are used to deliver the European goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and support the delivery of our SEP.

The North East Property Fund

The North East Property Fund offers short term loans for small and medium-sized construction and property development companies. Loans from £250,000 up to £1million are available for non-speculative residential and commercial developments across the North East LEP area.

North East Rural Growth Network

North East Rural Growth Network (RGN)

The North East Rural Growth Network manages a capital programme to support rural businesses and stimulate business growth in the rural areas of Durham, Northumberland and Gateshead. Please note: this programme is now fully committed, but please watch this space for further updates.



What funding has the LEP secured for the North East?

We have secured resources for the North East in different ways. We oversaw the development of  successful regional programme proposals to the UK Government to secure three rounds of Regional Growth Fund and Local Growth Fund investment. We prepared the strategy for European Strategic and Investment Funds and have used our resources to develop projects which lever significant additional resources for the North East.

With partners, we have prepared successful proposals for the 21 Enterprise Zone sites which have secured government tax benefits for investor business and will deliver a rolling investment fund over time. We have also secured resources from other sources for specific projects aiming to take forward aspects of the SEP, for example the Gatsby Foundation have resourced the regional project to improve careers advice and support and Horizon 2020 funding was secured to develop our engagement with European innovation platforms.

Where can I find out more information about projects that the LEP has funded?

All of the projects that the North East LEP is currently funding can be found on our projects page.

What funding is available for businesses?

The North East Investment Fund is available for businesses looking for capital funding.

If you’d like other types of funding for your business, please visit the North East Growth Hub.

Where can I find the LEP’s Assurance Framework?

The Assurance Framework is available in the ‘About’ section of our website.

How are projects selected for funding?

Projects are selected for investment based on the appraisal of grant or loan applications submitted in response to project calls.  Details of  project calls are published on our website. All project funding decisions are taken by the North East LEP Board or Investment Sub Board.

What governance is in place around LEP funding?

We manage all funding programmes in accordance with our ‘assurance framework’. The assurance framework sets out our processes for the identification, selection, approval, monitoring and evaluation of all projects. The North East LEP Board has approved the assurance framework and makes any changes that may be necessary to comply with the latest Government guidance to LEPs on their assurance frameworks. View our Assurance Framework.

Want to find out more about projects we have funded?

View our comprehensive projects listing now