New grant fund provides innovation support for social enterprises

A new £1.5m grant fund from the North of Tyne Combined Authority will support business innovation across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland, and social enterprises are eligible to apply.

The Innovation Recovery Grant is available to small and medium-sized social enterprises based in North Tyneside, Newcastle or Northumberland and is being delivered by Northumberland Business Service Ltd (NBSL) and the Innovation SuperNetwork, with a 50 per cent contribution towards the cost of innovation projects totalling between £10k and £20k.

Grants of between £5k and £10k are available to be used to rebuild business using innovation as a tool to recover from Covid.

The grant can cover costs for external expertise to help deliver innovative solutions or provide consultancy that helps enter new markets. These could include:

•             Process improvement projects

•             Product development

•             Design and development of innovative IT solutions

•             Development of marketing strategies

•             Digital development including the creation of new or enhanced websites that allow businesses to enter new markets.

Bringing innovation alive within the business through the use of technology could also be supported – helping companies adapt or adopt new technology. Examples of technological projects that could be supported include:

•             New IT equipment to help improve working practices

•             New IT equipment to help product innovation or introduce new products to market

•             Production machinery to help support business growth through new products

•             Software purchases to help drive efficiency and innovation

•             Customer Relationship Management (CRM) purchases to develop digital transformation and communication.

Briefings around eligibility this month

To help suppliers, business support agencies and SMEs understand the grant offer and support available, Innovation SuperNetwork is running two online briefing events to run through project eligibility and highlight the support options on offer to successful applicants.

June 29th at 1pm:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvfu-tpzMpH9TXtVcnJqNJZLPe6qMxxAaG

June 30th at 10am: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvduivqzgpH9L0r7epZamfmjRXeBXvHqXn.

For more information on eligibility and types of project that can’t be supported, visit ntca-innovationrecoverygrant.co.uk.