Application Process

  • SME makes initial contact with the Growth Fund through the online contact form, email address or telephone number. After an initial telephone conversation with UMi, where basic eligibility checks are conducted, eligible clients will be sent an Expression of Interest form to complete and return via email.

  • Once an Expression of Interest has been received by UMi, an initial client meeting will be arranged with a Project Adviser to discuss eligibility and to identify any additional external support that may be of help to the client.

  • If the SME has a suitable investment project, the Project Adviser will invite a grant application. Application form and associated application documents are provided to the SME to complete along with guidance notes.

  • Client submits application form to UMi (Project Advisors can support the client throughout the application process. Clients can also employ the services of external grant application specialists if required).

  • Grant application is appraised by UMI and prepared for submission to Investment Panel.

  • Application presented at bi-monthly panel meeting for approval. The panel is made up of representatives from private and public sectors.

  • If successful at panel, due diligence is undertaken by an external provider who will provide a report to UMi and Gateshead Council.

  • Applications that are rejected by the Investment Panel can be re-submitted in the following circumstances only:

     1. The Project has changed fundamentally, or
     2. There is new information available which materially alters what was presented to the       Investment Panel

  • UMi Executive makes final decision on whether to offer the grant, grant amount and on what terms.

  • Final approval communicated to SME and Grant Offer Letter issued. Once signed and returned by the applicant, the project may commence.

  • SME must follow ERDF procurement rules before any purchases can be made. Further information can be found here.

  • Once eligible purchases have been made, a grant claim can be submitted.

  • The claim will be assessed for completeness and accuracy. Payment will be released within 30 days of UMi receiving all required information.

Please click here to view a flowchart of the application process​