If you are a small or medium sized business based in an eligible postcode with plans to grow and potentially employ more staff, you may be eligible to access grant funding through the Durham Business Growth Grant.

You could access up to 35% grant funding for business improvement projects.  The minimum grant we can pay is £1,000, so you must be planning to spend a minimum of £2,858 excluding VAT on eligible costs.  The maximum grant we can offer you is £2,000.

The Durham Business Growth Grant is funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), as part of Durham County Council's Community Led Local Development (CLLD) programme.  We can support you in many ways to help you grow your business and improve your productivity and our grants may be used for any of the following (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Purchase of tools or machinery
  • Purchase of computer equipment
  • Premises improvement or expansion
  • Consultancy for business growth planning
  • Consultancy for business strategy development
  • Consultancy for HR strategy and staff development
  • Consultancy for marketing planning & activities
  • Website design & development
  • Product or process development & business diversification
  • Financial planning
  • Consultancy for the development of new or improved systems and procedures

Business Support (Covid-19):

Given the current circumstances, caused by Covid-19, our grants may also support businesses:

  • to invest in professional services, building alterations or equipment which will provide essential support and identify opportunities to increase business resilience through new ways of working e.g. the introduction of remote working for staff thereby keeping them in employment.
  • that wish to switch production or redirect resource to support national need through assistance towards the cost of specialist advice and equipment/retooling e.g. to manufacture PPE for the NHS.
  • to engage with wider business investment activity leading to new job creation linked to recruitment support through Durham Works focused on matching vacancies to unemployed and underemployed residents.

Eligibility Criteria:

The Durham Business Growth Grant provides grants towards business improvement projects to SMEs located within the County Durham CLLD areas.

To be eligible for a grant, the project for which you are applying must not have started and you must be:

  • A UK business that is currently trading
  • A small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) with less than 250 employees, annual turnover less than €50m and annual balance sheet less than €43m.
  • Located in one of the following eligible CLLD areas:

The North Durham CLLD area covers Chester-le-Street, Pelton Fell, Whitehills and Pelton, Sacriston, South Stanley, Craghead around the outskirts of Annfield Plain and Harelaw.

The South Durham CLLD programme is delivered in the Bishop Auckland, Coundon, Leeholme, Shildon, Spennymoor, St Helen Auckland and West Auckland areas.

State aid regulations:

Our grants are State aid and are given as De Minimis aid.

You may not receive more than €200,000 De Minimis aid in any three-year period (the limit is reduced to €100,000 for road freight haulage businesses).

For further information, please click here.


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