Jun 04 2014

North East Business Support Meeting, June 20


L-R. Steve Metcalfe from NSK, Valda Goodfellow from Goodfellow and Goodfellow and Richard Egginton from Sotech.

BUSINESSES across the region are being given the chance to find out more about the funding support available to help them grow.

Peterlee Business Park Group has organised an event to showcase the various programmes and pots of money that new and growing SMEs and established firms can tap into to help implement their expansion plans.

The event, which is being held at East Durham College on Friday, June 20, will include a panel discussion and a question and answer session featuring representatives from The North East LEP, Business and Enterprise Group, Grant Thornton, North East Finance and the National Apprenticeship Service; and exhibitors from support organisations across the North East.

Peterlee Business Park Group has organised the event in direct response to feedback from businesses in the area who said they were unsure what, if any, funding support was available to them and how they could tap into those pots which are in existence.

Richard Egginton is Business Systems Manager at Peterlee manufacturing company Sotech. He sits on the Peterlee Business Park Group steering group which was set up to help the area realize its full potential, promote everything it has to offer and create an environment which encourages business growth and engagement.

Richard said: “Having gone through the process of researching what funding is available to regional companies and successfully applying for financial support, I know what a minefield the area is and can fully appreciate why businesses perceive there to be little help available to them.

“However, I can genuinely say that’s not the case. There is support, both financial and otherwise, out there for growing companies but you need to know where to look and how to access it and that’s exactly why we’ve organised this event. Attendees have the chance to ask questions of our panel of experts and exhibitors to find out what support they can tap into depending on their priorities and growth plans and I think they might well be surprised by what they get from it.”

Exhibitors at the event include East Durham Business Service, Durham County Council, Profound Services, KF Training, HSBC, the Manufacturing Advisory Service, Utilitywise, Sunderland University, Teesside University and TWI Ltd with more being added every day.

During its first year, the focus was to address and resolve issues which members felt affected the image of the park including traffic congestion, road markings, illegal parking, litter, fly tipping, dog fouling and broadband connectivity in the area.

Joanne Urquhart-Arnold, Business Development Area Manager (East) at Business Durham added: “When we formed the steering group the aim was to look at those areas that was of most importance to businesses and funding support is certainly one of them. The feedback from employers was that they didn’t think there was support available or if there was, they didn’t know where to start.

“This event will show them there are pots of cash up for grabs and give them a much clearer understanding of which ones are best suited to them. It doesn’t cost them anything to attend yet the financial rewards they could reap are massive.”

The Peterlee Business Park event, which starts at 8.30am, is being sponsored by East Durham College, Business and Enterprise Group, Grant Thornton, Business Innovation Gateway, Catapult, the North East BIC, the Environmental Academy, NBSL, Anglo Scottish Finance and ILD.

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