The Growth Fund - FAQ's

Please find a list of frequently asked questions that our advisers often receive from potential Growth Fund applicants:

Is the grant only for manufacturing and engineering companies?


No, the grant is not aimed solely at manufacturing and engineering companies. A wide range of business sectors can be supported through the Growth Fund. Please find a list of projects and sectors below that are NOT eligible for support through the Growth Fund:

Ineligible Sectors:

  • Agriculture
  • Fishery and aquaculture
  • Retail and other businesses that sell direct to the general public (consumers), where the proposed project involves capital investment in premises where products are sold or services are delivered to consumers, except where the proposed project involves the design or manufacture of products or is intended to generate business to business income
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Tobacco and tobacco products
  • Construction or decommissioning of nuclear power stations

Ineligible Projects:

  • Provision of local social welfare facilities e.g. hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, fire stations, child-minding facilities, sports facilities, parks, public libraries.
  • Building and renovation of housing.
  • Infrastructure in port facilities.
  • Provision of public services or activities to supplement public services e.g. social housing, school age education.




Can I secure premises by signing a lease prior to grant approval?


No, if you are looking to access grant funding through the Growth Fund, there must be no prior commitment on any project activity. With regards to taking a lease on a new commercial property, you are not able to progress past signing heads of terms.




Are start-up businesses supported through the scheme?


A prestart company cannot access support through the Growth Fund. The grant support can only be used to support growth of the business rather than start up costs. If a business has recently started trading and the grant will support the growth of the existing services, this can potentially be supported.




Do jobs have to be created within a certain timescale?


Yes, any jobs to be created through a project supported by the Growth Fund must be created before the end of May 2023.




My company is not based in Gateshead, Sunderland or South Tyneside, can we access the scheme if we plan on relocating into one of these local authority areas?


Yes, if the business has plans to relocate and invest in a project / create jobs in one of these local authority areas, the scheme can potentially offer support.




I have no experience of writing a grant application, is there any support that I can access to help me?


If, after meeting a Growth Fund Project Adviser, you have been informed that the business and growth project is eligible for grant support, you will be required to submit an application form, financial appendices and cash flow forecasts. If you have no experience of completing an application and associated documents, you may feel quite daunted with the level of detail required. If you do not feel comfortable with completing this yourself, you can access the services of an external bid writer – organisations who have experience of writing successful large scale grant applications.

If you do decide to complete the application yourself, your Project Adviser will be happy to check though your application and advise of any additional information / evidence that may be required.




What happens after I submit my application?


The competed application will be assessed by the advisor and any supplementary questions or information will be requested. The application is presented by the advisor at a bi-monthly panel of local private and public sector representatives. If the project is approved for funding, a process of due diligence is undertaken, upon completion of the relevant checks a formal offer will be made. At this point, the project can begin.




When does the scheme end?


The scheme ends in May 2023. All expenditure needs to be defrayed and jobs in-situ by this date.