Upcoming events.

Welcome to the heart of dynamic networking and knowledge exchange at Durham Business Growth.  Our events are meticulously curated to empower entrepreneurs, professionals, and innovators with the insights, connections, and strategies they need to flourish in today's competitive landscape.

Get Set Green - The NET Zero Showcase - Tuesday, 27th February 2024 - 9:00-16:00 - Radisson Blu, Frankland Lane, Durham, DH1 5TA
Come and meet our experts and find out how to propel your business into a green future.  The event will provide businesses with a four pronged line of attack for businesses to grasp the opportunity to ‘Get Set Green - Net Zero Agenda including:

  • How to access services from the Durham Business Growth Programme that can help to reduce energy use, with energy audits and grants on energy-efficient equipment

  • Advice on how to access finance to invest in green technology

  • Information on where to access support for green skills to help your business take advantage of the huge growth of the ‘green economy’ sector

  • Opportunities to find out more about bidding for tender opportunities in the environmental services and goods sector from the County Durham Pound and partners.

Please Note: This event is only open to businesses based in County Durham. 

By submitting your registration you are agreeing to be contacted by UMi following the event in regards to your eligibility for the Durham Business Growth Programme.

Register here.

Navigating Funding and Finance for SME Success - Tuesday, 27th February 2024 9:00-12:30 - Venue: We are UMi, Navigators Point, Belmont Business Park, Durham DH1 1TW

The aim is to demystify the investment and financing jargon often used to help business owners become more confident when discussing their funding and finance strategy and approach investors and funders with more confidence.  It is also to build awareness of the products and services out there to support growth within the above sectors and how to access them.

Our panel of experts includes Umi, Natwest Bank, British Business Bank, NEL and UKSE.

We are also very grateful to have British Business Bank and Nat West who will also be going through their continued work on supporting Inclusive Financing.  Why are we covering this as part of this event – Well in 2021, only 13% of women-led businesses applied for a loan or overdraft versus 51% of their male peers.  Research shows women-owned businesses can face increased challenges in accessing funding compared to their male counterparts.

Find out how both BBB and Nat West are leading the way to change this dynamic and encourage, advise and guide more women led businesses to access funding and finance.

This workshop is for SMEs who have been trading for at least 6 months and have a current growth plan in place and are looking for investment, finance or funding to bring their vision to life.

More information here.

Emissions Reporting & Target Setting Webinar - Tuesday, 27th February 2024 - 14:00-15:00 (online)
About the event
An overview of how emissions are measured and reported based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) and setting science-based targets for reaching Net Zero. Starting with broad concepts of Net Zero and defining emission types.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Where to start as a business in measuring carbon emissions.

  • Basic knowledge of emission categories and data requirements.

  • Understand Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions and the key differences.

  • Some examples of emission calculations.

  • How to report emissions on an annual basis.

  • How to set near-term and long-term targets.

  • How to make a Net Zero commitment via the SME Climate Hub.

  • Introduce next steps in planning and delivering carbon reductions.

After you have booked, we will email you to confirm your appointment, or detail the steps required so that you can.  Usually, this will be within 2 hours, though it could be 1 working day during busy periods.

Your appointment will be hosted on Microsoft Teams.  You'll be able to join via your desktop or mobile using a browser; no account, or app is necessary.  Once your appointment is confirmed, you will receive Joining Instructions.

Click here to book your place.

Six Sigma Mastery Workshop: Boosting Quality & Efficiency in Your Business - Tuesday, 5th March 2024 - 9:00-16:00 - The Work Place, Heighington Lane, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 6AH
This event is funded by the Durham Business Growth Programme, and is only open to businesses registered on this programme who are located within the County Durham local authority area *

This session is for County Durham businesses only and is limited to 2 per company.

If your business is struggling to identify and control the level of quality within its own processes, then this workshop will guide you through a structured approach to help you address the potential causes of this.  This workshop will cover the fundamental elements of Six Sigma including, DMAIC, Fishbone, Pareto, and SPC.

Engineering Excellence: Strategic Branding Boosts Sales - Tuesday, 12th March 2024 - 9:00-12:30 - Ramside Hall Hotel, Carrville, Durham DH1 1TD
This event is funded by the Durham Business Growth Programme, and is only open to businesses registered on this programme who are located within the County Durham local authority area see below for registration links and further information.

This Sales and Marketing Workshop aims to equip Durham-based SMEs with foundational knowledge and strategic insights essential for their growth and success in today's competitive market.  Divided into two parts, the workshop delves into setting strong foundations and crafting effective strategies.

This workshop is very much aimed at the B2B market in particular those in the engineering, manufacturing, lifescience, pharma, and automotive industries.  These Sectors are highly competitive and require a very tailored approach to Sales and Marketing.

For more information, please click here.

A guide to Smartphone videography for small businesses - Wednesday, 27th March 2024 - 9:00-12:30 - Durham County Cricket Club, Chester-le-Street, DH3 3QR

A guide to Smartphone videography for small businesses

Speaker – Sean Conroy

Do you want to find out how to raise the profile of your business through the use of video?

Could shooting content on your smartphone save you money and increase your sales?

What is b-roll, the rule of thirds and why should I care?

All these questions and many more will be answered in this interactive workshop hosted by experienced video producer Sean Conroy.

In this hands-on masterclass you’ll be taken through a 4-step approach that will teach you how to plan, shoot, edit and share video content for your business.  All done using the video camera you already own, your smartphone!

Register hereClosing date for registration is Monday, 25th March 2024.

Bid Writing Masterclass: Competing for larger contracts - Tuesday, 16th April 2024 - 9:00-12:30 - Durham Cricket, Chester-le-Street DH3 3QR
This event is part of NEPO's Supplier Partnership Programme and is hosted in partnership with RTC North and is part of the Durham Growth Programme.

PLEASE NOTE: businesses need to be registered with the Durham Growth Programme prior to attending.  A link is below for registration, therefore ONLY businesses based in County Durham are able to attend this fully funded workshop.

Who should attend?
This event is for suppliers with some experience and success in bidding for public sector contracts who want to build on this to compete for larger regional and national contracts.

In this session you will:

  • Refresh on the public sector bid writing process

  • Find out what makes a strong bid

  • Build skills in applying techniques and themes to bids

  • Learn how to write high quality, concise bids whilst working to word limits

  • Learn how to increase bid success rates

Who's delivering the event?
Our speaker, Matthew Walker, from Executive Compass has supported UK-based bidders in winning over £1bn of revenue in public sector procurement awards. In the last 12 months, the team at Executive Compass has helped companies secure over £5bn worth of public and private sector contracts.

Find out more
For more information on the NEPO Supplier Partnership Programme, please visit: www.nepo.org/suppliers/participate

Durham Business Growth and Productivity Programme is a comprehensive initiative designed to elevate productivity and foster growth within businesses located in County Durham.  Being part of the programme allows you access to workshops, 1-1 advisor support and grant funding to support revenue and capital investment in your business.

For businesses in County Durham, the benefits of engaging with the Durham Business Growth programme are manifold.  Through its dedicated initiatives, the fund offers access to financial resources, expert guidance, and networking opportunities that can fuel growth and expansion.  Whether you're a budding entrepreneur or an established company, this UK SPF programme equips you with the tools necessary to succeed in an ever-evolving market.

If you have not already registered for the programme, please use this link: https://www.durhambusinessgrowth.co.uk/register

Workshop Delivered by:

NEPO is a Public Buying Organisation (PBO), based in Gateshead. NEPO is funded and governed by the twelve North East Local Authorities (NEPO Member Authorities) and operates as a shared procurement service to undertake strategic collaborative procurement.  Since its inception in 1976, NEPO has worked with North East local authorities and other UK public sector organisations to develop procurement solutions in high-spend areas such as construction, energy, and fleet.  At every step of our procurement journey, we collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure their needs are understood and met.  Our portfolio of 70+ solutions is available for use by public sector bodies across the UK via a free-of-charge associate membership scheme.

NEPO's Supplier Partnership Programme (NSPP) is the guiding light to public sector procurement and is committed to helping regional and local suppliers find, bid for and win contract opportunities with the public sector.  Since 2013 the NSPP has helped over 4,000 suppliers win significant contract opportunities with local authorities and the wider public sector.  If you’re a supplier based in the North East of England and you’re ready to supply the public sector, the NEPO Supplier Partnership Programme is for you!

Executive Compass
Executive Compass have been appointed as the delivery partner for the NEPO Supplier Partnership Programme, bringing unparalleled success in businesses to win public and private sector contracts.

Executive Compass has supported UK-based bidders in winning over £1bn of revenue in public sector procurement awards.  In the last 12 months, the team at Executive Compass has helped companies secure over £5billion worth of public and private sector contracts.

Click here to book a place.

Social media trends for small businesses 2024 - Wednesday, 24th April 2024 - 9:00-12:30 - Enterprise House, Enterprise House Harmire Enterprise Park, Barnard Castle, DL12 8XT
Run by Caroline Wilson of Hot Toddi, she will go through:

  • Understanding what changes may affect your business

  • Knowing what to incorporate or not into your social media plan

  • Learning about new opportunities online

Workshop outcomes

  • Feeling a sense of control of your social media

  • Knowing what will or won’t affect your social media activity

  • Confident of how to move your business forward online

  • An overview of new trends to consider for your business

Click here to book your place.

Amazing Networking - Why it Matters - Tuesday, 25th June 2024 - 9:00-12:30 - The Work Place, Aycliffe Business Park, Heighington Lane, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 6AH
Join Jeni Smith as she delves into the power of networking, knowledge transfer, and effective relationship management.  The content has been selected to provide delegates with the tools and ideas to scale their businesses through effective networking activities.

Click here for more information.

CRM Strategy for Business Success Workshop - Tuesday, 14th May 2024 - 9:00-12:30 - The Work Place, Aycliffe Business Park, Heighington Lane, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6AH
Speaker – Mark Scott, SkyFlo Digital

Closing Date 9th May

This comprehensive workshop focuses on CRM strategy tailored for SME's.  Participants will gain insights into maximising the potential of a CRM platform to drive sales, improve customer relationships, and optimise business processes.

The workshop covers various aspects, including CRM ecosystem understanding, customisation, lead management, reporting and analytics, and customer experience enhancement.  Through interactive sessions and practical examples, attendees will leave equipped with actionable strategies to elevate their CRM approach and achieve business success.

Click here to book your place.


Accessing Growth Funding for Your County Durham Business

For ambitious businesses in County Durham, lack of access to funding can be a major barrier to turning business plans into reality.

You may have bold ideas to develop new products, expand operations, or enter fresh markets - but bringing these initiatives to life requires capital investment.

As Durham County Council’s business support service, Business Durham can connect local businesses with a range of public and private funding streams tailored to your strategic growth goals.

Read on to learn more about the types of funding we provide access to and how it can help catalyse success for your County Durham business.

Funding to Turn Plans into Reality

With the right funding injection, businesses have the power to transform and grow in exciting new directions.

However navigating the complex funding landscape on your own can be difficult, and partnering with the wrong investors can negatively impact control and equity in your business.

Business Durham serves as an expert guide, opening doors to funding opportunities that align with your objectives and structure – whether you require:

  • Startup capital to get your new venture up and running.

  • Investment to scale up operations, production and workforce.

  • Loans to purchase new equipment, machinery or facilities.

  • Grants to support productivity and growth,  R&D, adopting new technologies or entering new markets.

  • Cash flow assistance to help stabilise and grow.

With established connections across the public and private funding community, we help businesses access finance without the hassle. Our advisers take the time to understand your funding needs and match you with the right capital to turn your plans into reality.

Types of Funding Available

Business Durham can advise and connect businesses with a diverse range of opportunities, including: 

Grant Funding

For initiatives such as productivity and growth, R & D, adopting clean technologies, developing new products or services, and exploring new market opportunities, grant funding covers a proportion of the costs.  We connect businesses with grants from sources like the Durham Business Growth Programme, Made Smarter, Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation and much more.  Funding ranges from thousands to millions based on the project scope.


Affordable loan financing provides accessible capital to purchase equipment, expand facilities, bridge cash flow gaps, and more without diluting equity.  We facilitate access to loan options like the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and other business-friendly lending streams. 

Equity Investment 

For scaling companies ready to accelerate growth, our connections with angel investors, venture capital firms, and private equity firms provide access to substantial capital infusion in exchange for equity stakes.  Investment levels stretch into the millions for enterprises with high-growth prospects across tech, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and other sectors. 

Innovation Support 

For tech-driven businesses engaged in R&D and innovation, we open doors to resources like the Innovation SuperNetwork providing access to research partners, facilities, and funding.  These connections help translate ideas into realities.  We also connect innovators with events like Venturefest Northeast. 

Property and Infrastructure 

As your company grows, lack of suitable workspaces and infrastructure can inhibit productivity and innovation.  We help businesses access capital from funds to invest in the right spaces, facilities and equipment.  In addition to funding, our advisers provide support on business planning, financial modelling, and investor pitch preparation to set your enterprise up for funding success.

Key Funding Criteria 

While wide-ranging funding is available, most programmes look for certain criteria when evaluating businesses for support, including: 

  • Strong management team with industry experience. 

  • Innovative products, services or processes. 

  • Clear potential for high growth and job creation. 

  • Definable route to commercialisation. 

  • Cohesive financial planning and projections. 

  • Potential to increase productivity and economic impact. 

  • Ability to repay debt (for loans). 

Essentially, funders want to see that your business has solid leadership, a compelling plan, and potential for growth and financial sustainability. Our advisors help businesses understand requirements and present a strong case. 

Unlocking Funding for Your Business Goals 

If your SME seeks capital to unlock your next stage of growth, Business Durham can help.  Our proven funding expertise and connections can open doors that provide your company with the investment necessary to: 

  • Develop groundbreaking new products or services. 

  • Adapt to fast-changing markets. 

  • Adopt productivity-enhancing technologies. 

  • Expand production capabilities and capacity. 

  • Enter new export markets across the UK and globally. 

  • Create more high-quality jobs across County Durham. 

Current Funding Opportunities For County Durham Businesses 

The Durham Business Growth Programme 

This comprehensive 2-year initiative running until March 2025 aims to cultivate an environment where businesses can thrive, create quality jobs, and contribute to an inclusive, green economy.  It provides a strategic framework and support for companies seeking to elevate productivity and foster sustainable growth in the county. 

Learn More

Finance Durham 

With £20 million available, Finance Durham offers flexible investment and loans from £150,000 to £2 million.  This fund enables early stage and established businesses across all sectors to finance their growth plans.  Equity, debt, and mezzanine funding packages are tailored to your specific needs. 

Email: info@financedurham.co.uk 

Web: http://financedurham.co.uk 

Tel: 0191 731 8595

In short, funding provides rocket fuel for SMEs with the vision and drive to implement growth strategies and make a lasting economic impact. 

To explore funding options tailored to your business, contact our team today to start a conversation.  Together, we can determine the types and levels of capital investment that can help turn your plans into transformative realities.

To read the full article and find out more, click here.

Join the conversation here.


Hurry, first module free until 31st January!

Understanding and satisfying your customers is the key to thriving in today's competitive business landscape. 

That's why we're excited to introduce our new Consumer Insight Programme, which gives you the tools and techniques to maximise your customer satisfaction. 

In return for your feedback, the first 25 customers will be able to access the first module of this six-part course completely free

Watch below to find out more from your trainer, Elaine Morris...

 This is ideal if you're a small to medium-sized business that wants to learn cost and time-efficient techniques to understand your consumers. 

You can use insights from start-up to scale-up when you want to: 

  • Reduce the risk of new products/services by ensuring you're giving consumers what they really want.

  • Understand sales performance and how you can offer more to your customers.

  • Create consumer engagement by developing real connections and encourage brand advocacy.

  • Retain customers by keeping them loyal and anticipating future needs.

Act now before it's too late! 

The first module is free only to the first 25 customers until the end of January.


Do you love growing your business overseas?

Want to give yourself, a colleague, friend or loved one the gift of international business growth this Valentine's Day?  The UK Export Academy is the perfect gift to share!

What is the UK Export Academy?

We are a training programme for UK businesses looking to grow their international sales, with hundreds of webinars available across the year.

With something for all skill levels, we cover the basics of selling overseas through to exciting topics in our Masterclasses.

The best bits? It's completely free and if you can't attend a session live, then you can catch up with the recording.

How do I share the love?

Why not spread the word of the programme and your love of selling overseas, and invite your special someone to book onto one of our welcome calls, hosted by our friendly Advisers Mark and Robin, to find out more about what we do.

Hope to see you, your colleague or your loved ones at one of our events soon!

UK Export Academy Team
Department for Business and Trade


Maximising cross-border performance with AI on Meta
Tuesday, 27th February 2024 - 10:00-11:00

Join Meta in this session focusing on selling to Saudi Arabia using cutting-edge AI innovation.

What you’ll learn

  • Understand the Saudi consumer behaviour and preferences as it relates to buying from businesses across borders

  • Learn how AI and machine learning can help you find new and unexpected audiences

  • Deep dive into key best practices that can help set your cross-border business up for success


Staying at the forefront of modern marketing means embracing cutting-edge AI innovation.  Join us to for a session focusing on selling to the Saudi market and how marketers can combine their expertise with the latest technology to maximise cross-border performance.

This event is in partnership with the DBT Digital Exporting team.  For more information about how they can support your business please click here.

Ralph Aoun - Global Marketing Manager, Meta

Ralph Aoun is a Global Marketing Manager at Meta specialising in Performance, Commerce and Cross-Border Business.  Prior to this role, he worked on the sales team as a senior Client Partner for the digital natives vertical.  Throughout his career, he held different roles as an entrepreneur, agency head, trainer, and television host.  Ralph also acted as a communication consultant for numerous public figures and holds a bachelor degree in Computer and Communication Engineering.  Register here.

Opportunities in the USA: A road map to Texas
Thursday, 29 February 2024, 14:30 - 16:00, Online
Explore the elements that your business needs to consider when looking to expand in the USA, with a focus on the state of Texas. Hear from international business development specialists and discover the opportunities.  Book your place here.

Meet the African Infrastructure Contractors Roadshow
Wednesday, 6th March 2024, 09:30-13:10, Manchester

Join DBT's exclusive opportunity for UK businesses to gain insights into a range of major infrastructure projects, due to be delivered across the African continent.  Meet directly with supply chain businesses based in the North of England.

Register here.

Selling to the States: Insights from the US Trade Envoy
Tuesday, 12th March 2024, 10:00 - 12:30, The Innovation Centre, Sci-Tech Daresbury, WA4 4FS

Businesses from across the North West are invited to hear from the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the US, the Rt Hon Sir Conor Burns MP.

Whether you are currently selling to the US or looking to enter the market for the first time, this insightful session will provide a detailed overview of existing opportunities.  Register here.

Australia and New Zealand Roadshow
Wednesday, 13th March 2024, Lancashire Cricket Ground, Old Trafford

Join DBT at the Lancashire Cricket Ground for the Australia - New Zealand Roadshow. Further details coming soon.

Register here.

Offshore Wind 2024
Join our series of webinars on offshore wind and the vast opportunities it presents for a variety of sectors and markets.  Here is what's coming up:
Introduction to Offshore Wind: USA
Wednesday, 27th March 2024, 15:00-16:30, Online

Register here.

Supercharge your Export Journey
The UK Export Academy brings out plenty of new workshops every month.  If you haven’t already registered, sign up now to get started with your exporting journey.  If you are already part of the community update your bookings with the latest workshops.

Here is what’s coming up:

  • Get your business ready for South Asia

  • Managing agents and distributors

  • Expanding your global retail reach

More details here.


In the third quarter of 2023 service exports from the UK totalled over 117.8 billion British pounds.  Maybe your business is part of that number, or perhaps you are hoping to sell overseas this year?

The UK Export Academy is here to help, explore our service sector highlights below or click here for all our full calendar. 

Upcoming events:

How to sell your services overseas (Part 1 of 2) - Monday, 26th February, 14:00-15:00
Exporting services raises some different issues to exporting goods, which will be explored in this two-part webinar series. Topics covered include cultural differences, maintaining relationships, regulations and tax and VAT.  Book your place here.

How to sell your services overseas (Part 2 of 2) - Thursday, 29th February, 15:00-16:00
In part two of the session we will cover how to build lasting relationships and routes to market available to services companies, such as franchising or working with local delivery partners.  More information here.

Using digital channels to successfully market professional services - Tuesday, 26th March, 10:00-11:00
Join us as we guide you through a multiservice-led approach relating to service providers.  The session will cover the effective use of PPC, SEO and advertising strategies.  Book now.


Did you know, in 2022, UK online sales saw its highest annual growth since 2007 with sales increasing by 36%.  The e-commerce market is growing, so why not explore opportunities across the globe?

The UK Export Academy is here to help, book your free space on an upcoming webinar and learn everything you need to know to go global with your e-commerce business!

E-commerce masterclasses coming soon...

Google Analytics 4 (GA4): What is consent mode and how can it benefit my business? - Tuesday, 6th February 2024, 10:00-11:00
Learn how to use GA4 to create and optimise your website improving user experiences.  Book here.

Social commerce for international audiences - Tuesday, 13th February 2024, 10:00-11:00
Explore how to increase international traffic to your e-commerce website using social commerce.  Book now.

Six steps to global e-commerce success - Tuesday, 13th February 2024, 14:00-15:00
Understand the steps you need to take to successfully expand overseas when selling via e-commerce.  Book here.

What you need to know about international tax and financial compliance - Tuesday, 20th February 2024, 14:00-15:00
Covering all you need to know about international tax reporting and compliance when selling online.  Book now.

Unlocking success in India: How the UK India Business Council can support your e-commerce launch - Friday, 23rd February 2024, 10:00-11:00
Get an introduction to e-commerce in India with lots of useful know-how to implement in your own business.  Book here.

Maximising cross-border performance with AI on Meta - Tuesday, 27th February 2024, 10:00-11:00
Join Meta in this session focusing on selling to Saudi Arabia using cutting-edge AI innovation.  Book your place here.

How to get your worldwide export logistics working better - Tuesday, 27th February 2024, 14:00-15:00
Ensure your logistics are working for business you when selling online internationally.  Book here.

Explore the e-commerce opportunity in China - Friday, 1st March 2024, 10:00-11:00
Get top tips on selling into China via e-commerce with lots of useful know-how to implement in your own business.  Book now.

Don't forget, if you can't join a live event, as long as you sign up you will have access to a recording of the session for up to 4 weeks after.

UK Export Academy Team, Department for Business and Trade


In October 2023, a new Act came into effect, granting Companies House increased authority to prevent fraudulent and misused companies or partnerships.  This law requires shutting down companies involved in fraudulent activities and penalises neglecting fraud prevention. 

The Act impacts a range of business structures, including: 

  • Private Limited Companies

  • Public Limited Companies (PLCs)

  • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

  • Limited Partnerships (LPs)

  • Community Interest Companies (CICs)

  • Overseas Companies 

Key areas affected by this Act include: 

  1. Identity Checks: Stricter checks on business owners to enhance transparency of company ownership.

  2. Filing Accounts: Changes in how accounts and paperwork, such as Confirmation statements, are filed.

  3. Companies House Fees: Adjustments to Companies House fees.

  4. Prohibited Company Names: Regulations on prohibited company names.

  5. Data Protection: Measures against the abuse of personal information on the Companies House Register.

Understanding these changes is crucial for company directors and individuals in control. 

Companies House aims to implement the first set of updates on Monday, 4th March 2024.

Read more about the set of changes here!

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp


Durham Business Growth Programme: Intermediary Event
Thursday, 7th March 2024, 9:00-12:00

Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham

It has now been six months since the official launch of the Durham Business Growth Programme so we would like to invite you to attend our upcoming Intermediary Event, taking place on 7th March and hosted by Business Durham, UMi and RTC. 

Join us for an engaging and informative half-day event designed specifically for business support providers.  We will update you on the success of the programme to date and you will hear from businesses who have successfully secured grant funding to help their business grow.  The event will feature a panel from Business Durham, UMi and RTC to answer all your questions. 

Please register your place and a full agenda will follow in the coming weeks, if you have any queries, please let me know.  

Kind regards

Amanda Armstrong
Project & Events Manager   


Begin your business journey in 2024 on a high note by joining our exclusive series of FREE workshops and webinars designed to boost your resilience, leadership, and growth. 

Hosted by the North East Growth Hub, Tees Valley, and UMi, this fully funded programme runs from 31st January to 13th March 2024.

Don't miss the chance to: 

1. Build Business Resilience: Shield Your Business
Learn to tackle external challenges, develop robust risk management, and embrace agile practices to reduce trading costs. 

2. Get More Customers: Fuel Your Growth
Gain insights into effective marketing, understand your customers for lasting connections, and optimise sales processes with data-driven decisions. 

3. Be a Responsible Business: Lead with Purpose
Develop ethical leadership practices, understand how to gain credentials, and learn the value of corporate social responsibility (CSR). 

Register: Secure your FREE place now!  Workshop spaces are limited.  Check the dates and register here

Don't miss this opportunity to transform your business. See you there! 

Eligibility: Places are available to those with a registered or trading address within the North East of England and Tees Valley.


Now is a great time to learn something new, especially if it helps your business grow internationally.

The UK Export Academy have a jam-packed calendar of online Masterclasses coming up, all delivered by industry experts on hot topics in the world of global trade.

Take a look below at what's coming up in February and secure your free space! 

How insurance can help boost your export confidence - 1st February, 10:00-11:00
Allianz Trade will explore how export trade credit insurance can enable you to grow your export business with confidence.  Sign up here.

Top tips to design international marketing strategies - 6th February, 10:00-11:00
Join Dr. Eren the founder of London-based growth studio NBT Digital as he takes you through how to design an international marketing strategy.  Register here.

Do I have the resources and cash to sell overseas? - 8th February, 14:00-15:00
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants will take you through different finance options to support your business when selling internationally.  Register here.

Top tips for landing an overseas deal - 14th February, 10:00-11:30
Learn all you need to know about negotiating your next (or first!) international business deal including cultural considerations.  Click here to register.

Scoping and contract management overseas - 15th February, 10:00-11:10
Explore all you need to know about managing your overseas contracts and scoping out the right suppliers!  Register here.

The roles of a freight forwarder - 19th February, 10:00-11:00
Join The British International Freight Association to gain an understanding of the role a freight forwarder can play when you sell goods internationally.  Register here.

Don't forget, if you can't join a live event, as long as you sign up you will have access to a recording of the session for up to 4 weeks after.

UK Export Academy Team, Department for Business and Trade


Want to give yourself the gift of business growth in 2024?

From Friday, 12th January to Friday, 9th February we are hosting a free business growth challenge - to give you all the skills and knowledge you need to land your first (or next!) big overseas deal.  All events are being held online.

What will you get out of the challenge?

  • Learn how to construct and embed a systematic approach to business growth

  • Develop a robust and compelling marketing strategy

  • Get a road map for how to build compelling value propositions

  • Learn how to assess your chances of winning bids and negotiating deals

Click the subjects below to explore each session in more detail, you can book all 5 for the ultimate experience or just pick and choose the topics that suit you.

PLEASE NOTE: Once an event has ended, recordings are only available for attendees to view for 4 weeks after the event.  You will need to register here in order to access the recordings.

Meet the Speaker
Growth Ignition is led by Jeremy Brim, the award-winning business capture expert and Cranfield School of Management and APMP Accredited Lecturer.  Jeremy brings 20 years of experience as a capture and bid management professional across both the public and private sectors.  Leading successful work winning functions spanning professional services, outsourcing and construction - Jeremy has secured an enviable collection of high-profile projects, programmes and frameworks with blue chip clients around the globe.


We know that sometimes navigating VAT and funding new contracts can be hard to understand, especially on an international scale.

That's why we are here to help.  Over the next few weeks we have a range of webinars covering top finance topics, designed to educate and demystify.

To secure your spot just click book and sign up for free!

Check out the events:

PLEASE NOTE: If you can't make the event live, then don't worry!  If you book, we'll email you with a recording of the session that you can watch back at your leisure.

UK Export Academy Team, Department for Business and Trade


2024 is here, are you ready for a new year with exciting global opportunities?

We at the UK Export Academy certainly are!  With over 20 webinars already live why not get ahead and book your free place now.  Explore our highlights below and just click the tile to secure your space.  All events are held online.

Join a free five-week challenge to support you in growing your business overseas.  Hosted in partnership with growth transformation and training organisation Growth Ignition (Friday, 12th January - Friday, 9th February 2024).

Watch our Essentials series on-demand: Want to explore the fundamentals of exporting or pick up on a particular topic?  You're in luck.  Our 10-part Essentials series is now available on-demand which means you can watch whenever it suits you.  Click here to watch now.

UK Export Academy Team, Department for Business and Trade:


We usually don’t want to think about insurance - personally or for our businesses.  Contemplating the worst and paying for unforeseen events isn't a pleasant thought. 

Yet, due to changing circumstances, areas such as property and contents including stock, plant and equipment, can often become underinsured. 

To help, we've pulled together the simple steps you can take to avoid insurance pitfalls, including how to: 

  • Assess your risks and needs

  • Shop around and consult a broker

  • Review and update your cover regularly.

Click here to avoid being uninsured or underinsured. 

You can also explore our 'Protecting Your BusinessHot Topic for support and insights covering Cyber Security, Business Insurance, and IP.

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp


On 1st January, 2024, new UK regulations came into effect requiring online platforms to report on the income individuals and businesses make through them. 

To help, we've outlined the upcoming changes in Selling Online: What HMRC Digital Platforms Regulations Mean for You and below are some types of platforms and activities that will be affected: 

  • Freelance websites - Fiverr, People Per Hour and Upwork

  • Online marketplaces - eBay, Vinted and Etsy

  • Food delivery services - Uber Eats and Deliveroo

  • Taxi and private hire services - Uber and Bolt

  • Short-term accommodation - Airbnb and Vrbo 

Have a look at HMRC’s examples if you’re unsure whether you are trading, and use the online checker tool to determine if you need to register for Self Assessment. 

if you have any questions, please get in touch.

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp


As businesses across the world become increasingly digitalised, the risk of cyber attacks rises and the results can be incredibly damaging. 

With 43% of cyber-attacks targeting small businesses, it's important that you know how to protect yours. 

That's why we've pulled together the simple steps you can take to safeguard against cyber threats, including: 

  • Updating your software

  • Invest in an anti-virus software

  • Use strong passwords

  • Do not click on links from unknown email senders

  • Back up your data

  • And much more . . . 

Click here to make sure you know how to protect your business! 

Explore our 'Protecting Your Business' Hot Topic for support and insights covering Cyber Security, Business Insurance, and IP.

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
We Are UMi website: https://www.weareumi.co.uk/


Achieve your growth goals faster and smarter than ever before. 

The UMi Go Further Group Coaching Programme is crafted to empower ambitious small to medium-sized business owners and leaders.

This is your final opportunity to join this transformative journey. 

Hear first hand from Kirsty about the immense value this program can bring to your business.

The 6 month programme starts 18th October is made up of a powerful combination of: 

  • Live fortnightly group coaching sessions – where the real magic happens.

  • 12 module self-study videos & workbooks – study at your own pace.

  • A peer group community – the collective power of like-minded individuals. 

Throughout which, you will be able to step powerfully into your leadership role, grow your business and focus on exactly what steps you need to take to achieve your goals. 

Hear from some businesses that have benefited hugely.

If this sounds like what you need, click here for more information, or if you have questions or want to check this is the right programme for you, book a free discovery call with Kirsty

You can also get a taster by watching the UMi Makes it Easy webinar showing you how to 'Avoid Mistakes When Scaling Your Business' she hosted last week. 

Act now before it's too late!

Further information can be found here.


Are you up to speed on all the recent and upcoming 2024 changes to employment law? 

Business compliance experts and UMi partners, Croner, has pulled together an overview of the recent & upcoming changes, outlining the impact on your business and employees, going through 2023 and beyond. 

Be prepared for upcoming changes, including:  

  • Proposed law limits on non-compete clauses to three months.

  • Discussions on legislation for pro-rata treatment of part-time workers.

  • Updates to GDPR, considering a 'common sense' data protection system.

  • Exemption for businesses with <500 employees from certain regulations.

  • Implementation of The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023.

  • Employees will change to paternity leave.

  • And much more . . . 

Click here to make sure you know how each might impact your business!

If you wish to explore the implications of these changes for your business and determine the necessary steps, feel free to to give us a call (0330 124 7305), email (letstalk@weareumi.co.uk) or book an appointment.


If your business is looking for funding, you may need to prepare a funding pitch. 

Whatever the purpose, having a clear proposal to present will keep you on track and make you more credible to the funder. 

In this helpful guide, 'What to include in a funding pitch' we talk through what you need to include: 

  • Overview - covering what you do, your market and how you're run.

  • Project - details on the project that you need funding for.

  • Position - provide a window into your current business finances.

  • Viability - show the viability of the new project you need funding for.

  • Audience - tailor to the investor or creditor that you are speaking to.

 Click here to find out more! 

We understand the challenges of securing the right funding. To get some advice, book a One-to-One Financial Health Check with one of our team.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online: http://www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp


Trying to navigate the complex world of finance and funding for your business? 

This month's new Hot Topic: Finance and Funding will give you access a wealth of information that can help you make informed decisions and navigate the financial landscape effectively. 

What's covered this month:  

  • UMi Funding and Grants Finder

  • Understanding different types of business finance

  • Funding business growth

  • Using your cashflow statement for decision making

  • What to include in a funding pitch

If you're looking for funding opportunities and financial management tips, book your free Financial Health Check which includes a 30-minute one-on-one session with an UMi Business and Investment Adviser.

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
UMi Sat Nav: https://tinyurl.com/mppweyuw


We understand the critical role effective leadership and management play in the success of any business. 

Whether you're an experienced leader or just starting your managerial journey, this month our Hot Topic: Leadership and Management is designed to empower you with the knowledge and strategies you need, including: 

  • Leading an organisation through change

  • How to use strategic frameworks to make better business decisions

  • Leadership vs Management: What's the difference? 

  • How to spot when your company is languishing and how to overcome it 

  • What it takes to lead an employee-owned business

  • Podcast: Running a business without it becoming overwhelming

Click here to find out more.

If you're looking at how to improve your business' equality and diversity, feel free to give me a call, email or book an appointment.

Contact us:
Telephone: 03301 24 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online here.


Are you wanting to make your business more sustainable, but you're left wondering how you can fund the changes you need to make? 

We understand the importance of financing your projects, that's why we've pulled together national and regional sustainable funding schemes to help you, including: 

  • UK Government Green Funding Finder

  • Barclays Green Loans 

  • Green Business Loan Schemes - Wales

  • Low Carbon Transport Business Loan - Scotland

  • Green New Deal Fund - North of Tyne 

  • Green Business Grants - West of England

  • & Much more! 

Find out more here!

New schemes are being announced regularly and some may only be available for a short time, so we'll update you when we see anything we think you're eligible for. 

If you want some help to embrace sustainability and secure green funding, give me a call, email or book an appointment.
Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk


Recent challenges brought about by rain and flooding show how vital it is for businesses to anticipate unpredictable weather conditions. 

UMi partner Croner shares how you can prepare or update adverse weather plans to keep your business functioning properly all year round, with help to: 

  •  Deal with travel disruptions

  •  How to prepare in advance

  •  What to include in an Adverse Weather Policy

  •  Mitigate school closures and emergency situations

  •  Manage pay during adverse weather

  •  And everyone's favourite . . . office temperature 

Equip your business with essential knowledge and tools to brave any storm, be it heavy snow, flooding, or extreme temperatures. 

Find out more here! 

Don't let unpredictable weather catch you off guard, if you need help to navigate your business through any weather-related disruptions, give us a call (0330 124 7305), email (letstalk@weareumi.co.uk) or book an appointment (https://tinyurl.com/4spchjvd).


The Department for Business and Trade's Big in America LinkedIn series is now live.

Big in America is a first-of-its-kind documentary series on LinkedIn. It follows five UK SMEs that are determined to crack the American market and export their goods and services.  Each fifteen-minute episode sees television personality Alex Polizzi mentor the businesses as they learn the ropes of the US market in preparation for a pitch to a major US business in New York City.  You can get a taste of what to expect by watching the series trailer.

Episodes are released fortnightly from 12th September to 7th November at 1pm and you can sign up using the links below to watch live, or on catch up.

Episode 1 (Willsow) – Live on catch-up to watch now

Episode 2 (See.Sense) – airing on 26th September 2023, 1pm

Episode 3 (Collctiv) – airing on 10th October 2023, 1pm

Episode 4 (Artemis) – airing on 24th October 2023, 1pm

Episode 5 (Spice Kitchen) – airing on 7th November 2023, 1pm

There will also be live Q&As with each of the SMEs at 2pm, directly after transmission - viewers will be able to attend and ask questions to the businesses featured during these sessions.

Keep an eye on DBT’s LinkedIn page as there will be other Big in America related content, including blogs and polls, over the coming weeks.


There's never been a more crucial time to think about the environmental impact of your business. 

As well as benefitting the planet, sustainability can also help you build stronger customer loyalty, save on costs and ultimately boost your bottom-line. 

This month's Hot Topic: Sustainability, is full of tools and resources to help you make a positive impact, including: 

  • Cut costs with NatWest's Carbon Planner tool

  • Why is pays to be sustainable 

  • What is Net Zero, vs sustainability vs low carbon

  • How to reduce the carbon footprint of your business

  • How carbon offsetting can benefit your business 

Click here to find out more!

If you're a business owner looking to embark on your sustainability journey, feel free to give me a call, email or book an appointment.

If you're a business owner looking to embark on your sustainability journey, feel free to contact us:
Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here


A diverse and inclusive workforce starts with equitable recruitment practices. 

In today's dynamic business landscape, diversity isn't just a buzzword; it's a driving force behind innovation and success. 

There’s also legislation governing discrimination that employers need to be mindful of, otherwise, you could face claims of unlawful discrimination. 

Award-winning HR services provider Croner, share their Top Tips to Avoid Discrimination in Recruitment to avoid getting in hot water, covering:

  • Advertising a Vacancy

  • Shortlisting

  • Interviews

  • Making an offer

  • Probationary Periods

Find out more here

To speak to us about creating a more brighter and more inclusive workforce, give us a call, email or book an appointment.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here.


The Department for Business and Trade is delighted to present this exciting opportunity to help support your business' growth; the UK Government's 'Help to Grow: Management' Course.

Help to Grow: Management is a training course for business leaders. Designed and delivered by industry experts and entrepreneurs at world-class business schools, this leadership course will help you learn how to take your business to the next level, increasing profitability, innovation and growth.

As part of the course you will:

  • learn from experts and entrepreneurs at accredited business schools

  • get 10 hours of 1-2-1 mentoring support to help you apply the learning to your business

  • learn about topics like developing a marketing strategy, financial management, and more

  • develop a plan to help your business grow

  • become more confident leading your business through current and future challenges.

The course is designed to fit around existing work and personal commitments.  It is 12 weeks long, with around 4 hours of training each week. It is 90% funded by the Government, meaning you'll pay £750 per person.

Click here to register your place on the course.

For more information about what you can expect to learn on the course, frequently asked questions and dates of upcoming courses near you, please visit www.smallbusinesscharter.org/help-to-grow-management.


Diversity and equality are at the heart of building stronger, more innovative, and empathetic communities, both in the workplace and beyond. 

This month's new Hot Topic: Equality and Diversity will help your business drive positive change and foster an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone's voices are heard. 

What's covered this month:  

  • Understanding the different types of discrimination

  • Top tips to avoiding discrimination

  • Disability Discrimination law in the workplace

  • Barriers facing Women in Business

  • Equal opportunities in the Workplace

  • How to engage young people in Business

Click here to find out more!

If you're looking at how to improve your business' equality and diversity, feel free to give me a call, email or book an appointment.

Call - 03302 01242 07305
Email - letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here.

Partner Events


Growing a business isn’t always easy, it often needs more than a smart strategy. 

That's why we've added a range of specialist advisers to UMi Sat Nav to help you achieve your growth ambitions with personalised and actionable support. 

If you are looking to generate real growth, why not get in touch with my colleague and Growth Consultant, Dave Jones

With a wide breadth of experience supporting businesses combined with running his own, he has a particular passion for business finance, process improvement & project planning. 

Speak to Dave and he'll offer you specialist one-to-one support with how to: 

  • Refresh & evolve your business plan

  • Improve your sales & marketing techniques

  • Retain & attract a talented team

  • Build resilience in your supply chain 

Book your free 30-minute consultation with Dave Jones now for straight talking advice on how to grow your business.


Are you looking to unlock the immense potential of international markets? 

This month's new Hot Topic: Exporting gives you access to a collection of tools and resources designed to supercharge your exporting success. 

Whether you're a seasoned exporter or just starting out, this bundle will provide you with: 

  • Export Readiness Checklist

  • Export Support Schemes

  • Shipping Tool

  • Import/Export Procedure Tool

  • Exporting Success Podcast 

  • On-Demand Webinars 

Click here to find out more! 

If you are a business owner needing help in exporting, feel free to give us a call (0330 1247 305), email or book an appointment.


Ahead of the long weekend, catch up on our podcast series where we speak to industry experts and people just like you, who are on their own incredible business journey. 

In the latest episode we speak with founder and CEO of Just Williams, Jess Williams on how to unlock the secrets to sales and marketing success

Jessica shares her invaluable insights, strategies and experience to keep you ahead of the curve in this rapidly evolving landscape. 

Listen to find more from Jessica about:  

  • What led her to start Just Williams. 

  • The best decisions she made in her early stages. 

  • The challenges encountered and how she overcame them. 

  • Her best tips and advice to help improve your business sales. 

  • What’s next for her in her entrepreneurial journey.  

We have more than 25 episodes covering a range of business topics from entrepreneurship and leadership to marketing and innovation, so if you're want a bit of inspiration or to get some ideas to bring to your business, give them a listen.


There is a wealth of opportunity in export markets, but many business leaders are put off by the challenges, particularly those arising from a technology perspective. 

In this article, we introduce innovative TradeTech you can use to improve your international customer journey and make more global sales, by using technology to: 

  • overcome barriers to international trade

  • localise your offering to suit new international markets

  • communicate clearly with foreign customers

  • smoothing friction in your customer journey 

Click here to get started! 

If you’ve found yourself feeling frustrated by the complexities of digital trade, be assured you’re not alone. 

Get it touch and we can help you go further.

Telephone: 0330 1247 305

Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk

Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp


By transforming the wellbeing of your workplace, you can boost employee morale, improve staff retention and increase your overall productivity. 

This month's new Hot Topic: Wellbeing gives you a collection of valuable insights, tips, and best practices that will empower your team and foster a culture of wellness, including: 

  • Health & safety responsibilities as a employer

  • A guide to support your employees mental health

  • Mental health first aider: Does my business need one?

  • Mental health awareness in the workplace

  • Menopause in the workplace

  • Tackling stress in the workplace

  • How to implement resilience training

Click here to find out more! 

If you're looking to unlock the secrets to fostering a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment, feel free to get in touch!

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here.


Stress, anxiety and burnout can all take their toll on your employees performance, impacting your business success. 

Mental health issues cost employers an estimated £45bn every year, which equates to around £1,300 for every worker in the UK labour force. 

To help you achieve a supportive and nurturing work environment, here's a guide to supporting your employees' mental health and wellbeing, with the insights and strategies so you can effectively: 

  • Create a culture of openness

  • Keep the conversation going

  • Listen to staff

  • Promote a healthy work-life balance

  • Encourage physical activity 

Find out more here

To speak to us about supporting your employees wellbeing within your business, give us a call, email or book an appointment.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here.


We understand the immense potential and growth opportunities that exporting can bring to your business. 

If you're ready to expand your horizons through international trade, use our Export Readiness Checklist, a powerful tool designed to ensure your success in the global market. 

It will help you ask the key questions, including: 

  • Does your business have a well-established industry reputation?

  • Is your business financially stable?

  • Does your team have export experience?

  • Have you undertaken market research?

  • Do you have a contingency plan in place?

  • Do you have capacity to cope with demand?

  • Are your prices going to be competitive? 

Click here to get started! 

Once you’ve read through our checklist and believe you have a solid business case for exporting, then there is nothing stopping you from getting started. 

Get it touch and we can help you go further.

Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk

Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp


We are excited to introduce you to a powerful new tool that has the potential to transform your business and make a positive impact on the environment. 

NatWest is proud to present the Carbon Planner - a groundbreaking online resource designed to help you reduce your carbon footprint while simultaneously cutting your costs. 

There are many ways in which Carbon Planner could help your organisation, and not only in moving forward with your climate journey, but also to: 

  •  Understand the impact of your day-to-day activities.

  •  Prioritise actions you can take to reduce emissions.

  •  Share data with key stakeholders to help influence change.

  •  Reduce inefficiencies and costs across your organisations.

  •  Gain added confidence in your climate decisions.

  •  Inspire your workforce to get behind a focussed plan.

Click here to get started.

Watch this video for an overview of the Carbon Planner and what it does.  Get a feel for how it works and whether it could support your organisation to reduce emissions.

If you are a business owner looking to become more sustainable, get in touch and we can help you and your business go further.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Website: https://www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp/
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk


In today's interconnected world, finding the right partner for international trade is crucial for success. 

However, navigating the complexities of global markets can be daunting.  That's why we've curated this insightful guide to help you make informed decisions and build relationships that will drive your business forward. 

In this guide, you'll find expert advice on the key factors to consider when selecting an international trade partner. It covers essential aspects such as: 

  • Complementary Products or Services

  • Financial Stability

  • Market Knowledge

  • Quality Standards

  • Communication and Support

  • Logistics

  • References and Reputation

Click here to get started!

Once you've researched and spoken with some potential partners, you will be able to negotiate your agreements. 

Get in touch and we can help you go further.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Website: https://bit.ly/3PvOAEy


Businesses urged to Act Now to claim vital grant funding

Only a few months remain for firms to utilise the North East Business Support Fund.

Businesses are being urged to submit growth-based grant applications, as the deadline for a much-used fund approaches.

For over a decade, the North East Business Support Fund has provided a protective shield for business owners, helping SMEs de-risk investment in growth.

The fund’s success has been staggering, supporting nearly 5,000 SME businesses with over £9.1m in grants distributed across the region.

Grants are still available – subject to eligibility criteria - but only if businesses ACT NOW as Fund deadlines now loom – scheduled to finish in March 2023.  Focus remains on supporting the B2B sector however growth is also important to demonstrate to increase application success.

The programme will continue to offer grants for business improvement projects that use External Expertise and the financial support will remain the same:

County Durham businesses can access up to 40% of Grant Funding for projects costing between £2,500 and £8,000 with Northumberland and Tyne & Wear businesses accessing up to 35% funding for projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000.

Please note that this Fund continues to be an extension to the North East Business Support Fund and therefore are unable to provide funding to businesses who have already accessed support from the programme - this includes:

  • Businesses who have received a Grant from the North East Business Support Fund since February 2018.

  • Businesses in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear who have received a Covid Response (SME restart and Recovery / Kick-starting Tourism) Grant.

NBSL business support manager, John King, said: “The success of the North East Business Support Fund has been incredible and we are working hard to maximise the opportunity this grant offers to SMES across the region.  This tranche of funding must be allocated before the end of March 2023 and we want to see every penny spent on helping our regional business community evolve.

“NBSL prides itself in taking the hassle out of grant applications and are proud to be an ally to the North East’s plethora of exciting SMEs, champing at the bit to realise their potential.”

To ACT NOW and take advantage of the final months of the North East Business Support Fund, visit the fund website here or contact the experienced grant management team at NBSL on 01670 813 322 or contact us at info@nbsl.org.uk.



Taking smart, decisive action is your best route through the #CostOfTradingCrisis.

Since our survey a few weeks ago, we've been designing support specific to the challenges you've told us you're facing.

So, starting next week alongside our partners, we’re launching a FREE SIX-WEEK WEBINAR SERIES to help you:

  • Build Business Resilience

  • Stress Test Your Performance

  • Reduce Your Trading Costs

  • Minimise Energy Consumption

  • Maximise Your Income

  • Prepare Continuity Plans

  • Negotiate Better Deals

  • Retain Your Talent

  • Anticipate Business Recovery

Sign up and select which of the webinars you would like to attend.  Full details of the online events and how to book, can be found here.

Don’t worry if you can’t attend live. Register and we'll send you the recordings.

To speak to us about these events or a specific challenge, give us a call (0330 1247 305), email us (letstalk@weareumi.co.uk) or book an appointment.


As a business in the service industry we would love to invite you to our upcoming webinars specifically focused on selling services internationally. 

Now is a great time to join the UK Export Academy (UKEA) as we have just had a makeover and launched our brand new homepage and events calendar, meaning that our website is much easier to navigate - it's just waiting for you to explore!

What is the UK Export Academy?

The UKEA from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is a training programme delivered at no cost for UK businesses of all sizes looking to grow their international sales.  By signing up, you will gain access to a vast range of virtual and in-person workshops held across the UK for both goods and service businesses.

Click here to explore our full events calendar and to book your space!


Grow your export knowledge with our Essentials sessions or build on your existing skills with our Masterclasses, Sector and Market events.
Upcoming events include:

  • Understanding Export Controls

  • How to Sell your Services Overseas

  • International Marketing: a beginner's guide

Exporting can help you grow your business by finding new customers and increasing your sales.

Over 6,000 businesses have already joined the UK Export Academy, our free training programme designed to give you the confidence and know-how to sell overseas, in your own time.

How it works

  1. Register in minutes - Create your account, receive your own welcome pack and get new event alerts.

  2. Create your programme - Pick online and in-person events that are right for you.

  3. Learn from the experts - Benefit from live presentations from experts, workshops and networking opportunities.

What’s involved?

Whether you’re new to exporting or looking to develop your knowledge even further, there is an event for you and your business. Customise your learning journey at a pace that suits you, all designed and delivered by specialist trade experts.


  • for new exporters

  • learn the basics to get started

  • build your Export Action Plan


  • for more experienced exporters

  • build on your existing exporting skills

  • key topics delivered by industry experts

Sector & Market

  • join a sector-specific event

  • find opportunities in global markets

  • get export updates from sector experts

View all events here.


The UK has signed over 70 trade agreements, the benefits of most of which can be enjoyed right now.  Each agreement is designed to make it easier for you to sell goods or services internationally.

A new Trade Agreement Utilisation page on great.gov.uk was launched in November.  If your business sells, buys, uses, supplies, or receives goods or services from other countries, then you can benefit from using a trade agreement. If you don’t already trade with other countries, trade agreements can make it easier for you to start.

You can use this new page to find out more about trade agreements, how to use them, and why they will benefit your business.


North East Traders and Free Trade Agreements

As a key part of the UK's future trade strategy, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) aims to ensure that business awareness of the UK's new and upcoming Free Trade Agreements is as high as possible.  This short survey will help guide the Department's understanding and future work on Free Trade Agreements.

Eligible businesses who respond to the survey will have the opportunity to receive FREE follow up advice and support.  A member of our Free Trade Agreements team will arrange a 30 minute call to discuss how FTAs may affect your businesses exporting processes.


After three years and supporting over 1,340 businesses, applications to the North East Business Support Fund in County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear have now closed.

The funding has been incredibly successful and we're hoping to have news about new grant funding programmes in the very near future - keep an eye out for our newsletters over the coming months and you'll be the first to hear about any grant funding programmes that could help to support your business. 

If you've got any questions about this, you can email info@nbsl.org.uk and one of our team will get back to you.


Did you know that around half a million older people in the UK go at least five or six days without seeing or speaking to anyone at all?

The team at Silver Talk want to change this.  But to do it, they need your help!

They’re on the lookout for new friends on the phone volunteers to join the team and help bring companionship and a listening ear to one of their service users, through a 30-minute social telephone chat once a week.

For as little as 45 minutes a week, you could really change someone’s life.

You will be provided with a mobile phone to make the calls.

Full training is given to make sure you’re confident dealing with any situation that may arise.

Karbon will cover the cost of a DBS check which can come in useful in other areas of life.

Interested?  You can apply here, where you can also find a full volunteer role description.

Alternatively, you can reach the team either by email silvertalk@karbonhomes.co.uk or by calling 0191 223 8662.


Growth plans on hold due to spiralling business costs?

With all manner of operating costs on the rise, it’s crucial that businesses use any opportunity to maintain efficiency and ensure growth plans remain on track.

If you're investing in new processes, products or technology, take a look at just some of the ways we can support you.

North East Business Support Fund

Operating across Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham, this Fund can help towards the cost of projects that help improve efficiency or growth.

We’re encouraging SMEs to apply without delay as the Fund enters its final year of operation.  Grants can be used towards the cost of a project that brings in any external expertise to help move the business forward - from marketing and web design specialists to financial or human resource consultants.

County Durham businesses can access up to 40% of Grant Funding for projects costing between £2,500 and £8,000 with Northumberland and Tyne & Wear businesses accessing up to 35% funding for projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000.

Funding will be proactively targeted at Business-to-Business organisations in the remaining months of the programme.  Due to a limit on the number of Business-to-Consumer organisations that can be assisted and the high level of recent demand, only the strongest Business-to-Consumer applications will receive support. It may be also worth noting that this is an extension to the current Fund and therefore we may be unable to provide funding if you have received a North East Business Support Fund grant since February 2018.  Visit the dedicated NBSF grant website here.

North Of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant

With a 50% grant available, this Fund can support eligible projects costing between £10,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT), meaning a grant of between £5,000 and £10,000 is available to eligible SMEs and social enterprises across Northumberland, Newcastle Upon Tyne and North Tyneside.

To be eligible for funding your project needs to be 'innovative' - all that means is that it’s changing something for the better in your business - it could be a new product, an improved service, or a new way of working, it just needs to be something you’ve never done before.

Perhaps you’re looking at new IT systems and software to improve efficiency or thinking about working with a marketing consultant to launch a new product?  Maybe you're buying new equipment to automate a manual process, move into a new market or manufacture a new product.  These and hundreds of other projects could be eligible for funding.

If you’re a business that regularly evaluates the value you deliver and are thinking of a project that will improve what you do - then you’re being innovative and we may be able to help with this grant.  Visit the Innovation Funding website here.

Control costs through your carbon footprint

How do we reduce costs, save money and protect the environment is the first question posed at our most recent skills programme now available: ToNetZero.

Funded through the North of Tyne Combined Authority, this jargon-busting programme is a new skills programme helping you recognise the impact you could have on your carbon emissions and how you can develop your skills to spot ways of making changes with the potential to save costs.

Providing you with skills to design and implement your own plans, we’ve also lined up specialist speakers to inspire and encourage your ideas.

The programme is a flexible, fully funded skills programme supporting micro/SMEs and key staff over the age of 19 living in the North of Tyne and aims to develop your understanding, knowledge and skills through interactive, online workshops with each participant receiving eight hours of 1-2-1 support to help implement their own development plan for the business.  Find out more about ToNetZero here.

Building resilience thanks to NEBSF grant

With 2022 starting strongly, business resilience and operational efficiencies have become business critical to most businesses at the moment.

Thanks to the support of the North East Business Support Fund, NECS have been able to bring in external expert, Absolute Quality Consultancy & Training Ltd (AQCT) to support the development of a Business Resilience Strategy.

With AQCT’s support, Gary accessed grant support from business support agency NBSL via the North East Business Support Fund - which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Northern Powerhouse. “It was stress-free to apply for the grant,” says Gary.  “NBSL led me through the simple application process, it was very straight forward and the team came back with a decision to approve the grant within days.”

“The support received from the North East Business Support Fund and NBSL has been excellent and the grant has empowered our team to turn adversity into opportunity - identifying and unlocking new possibilities and would recommend any business use this Fund to help build company resilience.”

Read the full NECS grant journey here and see if we could help your business build resilience for the future.

The North East Business Support Fund (NEBSF) is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Northern Powerhouse as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The project is delivered by NBSL.


All the webinars are free to UK companies.

You can expect to:

  • receive help and advice to sell overseas with confidence

  • gain new skills and knowledge

  • discover solutions to specific challenges to exporting

  • get your exporting questions answered by the experts

How long are the webinars?

Our experts usually present for 25 minutes and allow 35 minutes for answering your questions and helping you find solutions to any barriers you may face.

Look through the list to find the webinars you would like to attend.

Each link will connect you to a webinar registration form so you can receive your unique link to join the upcoming webinar.


UKCA MARKING DELAYED - Requirement to adopt UKCA mark (rather than CE Mark) postponed by a year following industry pressure.  Click here to read more.

IMPORT CHANGES - Importing from the EU is changing, there are various stages between now and March, please read more here.

We haven’t reinstated in person meetings, and don’t expect to any time soon.  If you would like to discuss anything related to exporting then please continue to contact Paul Sparks, many thanks.


Webinar: Exploiting Education Opportunities Overseas (including EdTech) - Intellectual Property and Contractual Considerations

For companies involved in the EdTech sector this introductory webinar focuses on entering new markets, protecting your technology, and contractual considerations.  This introductory session, with the opportunity for questions, will be looking at some of the key intellectual property and contractual considerations when trading in tech abroad such as:

  • Routes into international markets from direct selling, incorporation, franchising, agency and distribution

  • Internationalising terms and conditions

  • Navigating local regulatory compliance

  • The categories of IP

  • Myths and reality

  • Cost and risk

View recording here.


New Helpline for EU Exports - DBT now have a national helpline to help with paperwork and regulations for exporting to EU.  Please see here.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA’s) Support - We have signed FTA’s with a number of countries and more will be signed next year.  This changes the export opportunities and can raise a number of questions for exporters.  So at DBT North East we have contracted out this support to “The Funding Forum” see here.  They have been issued with new internal email addresses and be part of our team.  Please send enquiries to Paul Sparks initially, then if relevant I’ll connect you with the correct person to continue FTA support.

If you export to FRANCE - Starting 1st January, VAT on imports in France will no longer be collected by the customs authorities but rather will be automatically reverse-charged on the importer’s French VAT returns.  This means it will not be possible to import goods into France without a France VAT number as all companies acting as importers of record in France will need to have a valid French VAT number and file VAT declarations.  Foreign companies can register for VAT in France even if they are not established in France or elsewhere in the EU. DBT France will be partnering with RM Boulanger, a company specialised in cross-border formalities and tax matters, if you need any support with this please let me know.

Paul Sparks International Trade Adviser, Department for Business and Trade.


14th November 2023 - 8th March 2024

Looking for the next step in your business journey?  Join WIN! Unlock your potential and amplify your leadership skills with this brand-new programme, designed exclusively for women.

Participate in an insightful agenda of activities shaped to build the confidence and skills of female leaders and connect with like-minded individuals.  You'll then have the option to join our exclusive trade mission to put your newly acquired skills into action.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to part of this game-changing community and empower yourself as a female leader.

Ready to embrace the WINning mindset? Your journey starts here.


The new Export Support Service (ESS) - New phone and online support for exporting to EU can be found here.

New UK Tradeshow Programme providing funding of £2k to £4k per tradeshow - more information here.

Launch of the ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign - further information here.


You might not be aware of “UK Export Finance” (UKEF) which can help you with funding for exporting and overseas projects (see here) and also the information below which includes a number of links.  If any of this is of interest to you please let Paul Sparks know and he will put you in contact with the North East representative for a free chat.

The “trade finance” support is exclusively for businesses with a turnover of £6m or more.  Whereas “export insurance” can be companies of any size, (it’s the buyers finances & trading history that is crucial).

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside Department for International Trade.

Having finance and insurance backing from HM Government through UKEF gives you the edge you need to win and fulfil contracts and withstand risk of non-payment in international markets. UKEF supports exporters to:

  • access export finance

  • manage payment risks

  • win export contracts by offering competitive terms to buyers. UKEF works with banks and other financial institutions to support exports for any size of company and across all sectors, from capital goods to services and intangibles such as intellectual property.

Access export finance

If the terms of a contract require a bond, such as performance guarantees or advance payment guarantees, UKEF’s Bond Support Scheme can guarantee a UK exporter’s bank up to 80% of the bond’s value, significantly reducing the size of the deposit needed.

UKEF’s Export Working Capital Scheme can partially guarantee to cover the credit risks for lenders associated with export working capital facilities.  This means UK companies can export if they win a contract higher in value than usual, or win more overseas contracts than usual.

UK suppliers to exporters can now also access UKEF financing, further spreading the benefits of trade.  Becoming part of an export supply chain can help smaller companies get their products and services into new markets.

Managing payment risks

UKEF helps exporters manage the uncertainties of trading overseas.  Export insurance is readily available in most cases from the commercial sector but securing the right cover can be a challenge in some markets.

UKEF’s Export Insurance Policy extends to cover exporters who are unable to uphold the contract for reasons beyond their control, such as country risk or issues within a supply chain.

Offering competitive terms to buyers

UKEF helps exporters win contracts by providing attractive financing for overseas buyers, either in the form of guarantees on commercial loans or by lending to them directly.  This competitive, long-term financing is particularly relevant to buyers in new and emerging markets, but is also used for larger and longer-term projects that the private sector does not have the capacity to support.  UKEF can offer support in over 60 pre-approved local currencies, enabling more overseas buyers to buy from the UK and pay in their own currency.


The UK has now left the EU single market and customs union.  Whilst many aspects of Brexit are still unknown there are some things that will happen whatever the final outcome of the negotiations.  We’ve attached some guides to help you with this, every business will be affected in some way, even if it is just the way you store and process customer details etc.

The central point of information for all official government announcements and guides is https://www.gov.uk/transition

As well as DBT there are other government departments providing information to help with the transition.  The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have produced a range of webinars, access these live and on demand, scroll down the page after opening the page.

North East England Chamber of Commerce (NEECC) – Brexit Support Week starting 16th Nov, see this and other events here.

The North East Growth Hub has some great resources here.

DBT are getting a range of questions on how the end of the transition period will affect them, if you have any specific concerns about the end of the transition period please send email us and we will try to get you an answer or point you in the right direction.


The Department for Business and Trade Trade has added many new events, both recorded and future events, including trade missions, webinars, etc. some are region specific and others available to businesses across whole of UK, please see https://www.events.great.gov.uk/ehome/trade-events-calendar/all-events/index.php and keep checking this as new events added all the time.


Please see on the left the PDF which provides updated guidance on overseas business travel following Brexit, such as new visa systems, work permits etc and also updated guidance on Recognition of Professional Qualifications which you might need to get officially recognised in order to continue to provide services in EU or EFTA countries.


With the UK now an independent trading nation, DIT has online tools and resources which are the go-to source of information for all businesses who trade internationally.

They are also a great starting place for businesses looking to seize new global trading opportunities.

Exporting goods from the UK

If you export goods out of the UK, visit the Check How to Export Goods online tool to find information on UK borders, and duties and customs procedures for over 160 markets around the world.

To export dual-use controlled items from the UK you must have a licence issued by the UK, except if you are exporting from Northern Ireland to the EU or Channel Islands.  Find out if your items need a licence. 

Check which tariffs apply to imports into the UK

Use the tariff look-up tool to find the tariff information you need, including commodity codes, duty and VAT rates.

Where to find more information

If you have any questions about the new trading rules and can’t find answers online, fill out an enquiry form and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.


The UK has left the EU.  The transition period ended on the 31st December this year and the UK left the single market and customs union.  Businesses should take action now.

Here’s what you need to know if your business imports goods from overseas.

What is the UK Global Tariff (UKGT)?

The UKGT is the UK’s independent ‘Most Favoured Nation’ tariff.  This is a schedule of taxes to be paid on goods imported into the UK from January 2021.  The UKGT will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff.

The UKGT will not apply to goods imported from a country that the UK has a trade deal witha country that is part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences or where an exception applies.

What should I do next?

  1. Learn more about the UK Global Tarif

  2. Plan ahead by looking up the tariffs you will need to pay using the tariff look up tool.

  3. If you import goods from the EU, learn more about the import process and border controls with the EU from January 2021.

  4. Visit GOV.UK/transition for more information about what you need to do to prepare for the changes coming into effect from January 2021.

You can also find information and advice about trading internationally (outside the EU) here.


The UK has left the EU, and the Brexit transition period has ended.  There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1st January, and you need to take action now.  All information on Brexit can be found at here.  This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses.

NEW £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund

The new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund offers support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. 

SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. 

You can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations

  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems

  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin 

It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements. 

Your business may be eligible if you have up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover. 

Applications for the SME Brexit Support Fund will open soon.  For more information on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.

Importing and Exporting

NEW: Step-by-Step guides to importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU: There are new rules for importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU.  Whether you’re completing customs declarations yourself or have an intermediary to do it for you, these guides will take you through each step and set out your options.

NEW: DEFRA’s Trader showcase sites for the latest information on exporting and moving goods from GB to the EU and NI: DEFRA's Showcase sites are a one-stop-shop of useful information and documents for traders who export live animals or animal products.

UPDATED: Importing from and re-exporting union goods to the EU Resources such as trader support packs and flowcharts, have been updated to include a new ‘Importing and re-exporting union goods to the EU – Flowchart'. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Report goods arriving at a UK port on a commercial vessel:  Guidance for the ship’s master or ship’s agent of commercial vessels on reporting goods arriving in at a UK port, has been updated with information about ‘an account of stores held on board’. For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. For more information, click here.

Marketing goods

UPDATED: Using the UKCA marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKCA marking.  For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: Using the UKNI marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKNI marking.  For more information, click here.


UPDATED: UK trade agreements with non-EU countries: The list of trade agreements has been updated to reflect the fully ratified UK-Egypt and UK-Singapore agreements.  For more information, click here.

Business Support Helplines

NEW: Brexit transition helplines: A list of government helplines organised by theme and key actions for businesses has been published.  To view this, click here.

There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1st January, and you need to take action now.  To help you, a helpline has been set up.  For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take.  Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

For more information for:

  • businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098

  • businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660

  • businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000

  • businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422.

For more information, including opening hours, click here.

Webinars and Podcasts

  • NEW: The National Cyber Security Centre is running a series of free cyber security webinars and talks aimed at UK businesses of all sizes, educational institutions and charities. For more information, click here.

  • NEW: Exporting goods from Great Britain to the EU via the short straits: A webinar and Q&A session on the issues arising from goods moving from GB to the EU, via the short straits, has been published.  To view these, click here.

  • Video content to keep your business moving: short on-demand videos covering the new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring are available to view here.

  • DEFRA are hosting a series of webinars covering importing food and drink, including composite food and fishery products from the EU to Great Britain (GB) from 1 April 2021.  For more information and to register for relevant webinars, click here.

  • Webinars for businesses that trade with the EU: Click here to view a list of webinars you can sign up to watch live or on demand. 

Sector-specific guidance

Emissions Trading

UPDATED: Participating in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS): Guidance explaining who the UK ETS applies to, and what is required of businesses that are covered, has been updated.  Information on auctioning has been updated to include information on the Auction Reserve Price, the Cost Containment Mechanism and the Auctioning Regulations. For more information, click here.  

Fishing & Fisheries

NEW: Scottish seafood taskforce to solve ongoing problems with exports: A new seafood taskforce has been established, drawing together senior political figures, industry representatives and UK Government officials, all working to solve ongoing problems with exports.  For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: How to export wild caught marine fishery products to the EU from 1 January 2021: The latest edition of the ‘One-stop-shop' guidance is now available. For more information, click here.


Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available:


The Export Support Service is a new government helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe.  It gives access to cross government information and support all in one place.  If you are a UK business you can use this free service, no matter the size of your business or which part of the UK you are based.  DBT will continue to work with businesses and business representative groups from all sectors, in all parts of the UK, to help make the service as useful as possible for businesses.  You can access the Export Support Service here or by calling 0300 303 8955 where you will be put in touch with a member of our dedicated export support team.  You can also ask a question online.  The export support team will reply within 3 working days.  They might ask for more information.


Claim up to £2,000 towards training and advisory services

To help you adapt to new rules for trade with the EU, the IOE&IT has launched a SME Brexit Support Package of training and support, fundable by new government grants.

The government this week announced an additional £20 million available through the SME Brexit Support Fund.  Provided you meet certain eligibility criteria, you can get £2000 funding towards the costs of training and/or professional advice, to help you with changes to trade rules with the EU.

To help you adapt to new rules for trade with the EU, our SME Brexit Support Package is a good place to start.

One of our experts will provide a day's in-house training for your business (via virtual classroom), looking at the specific impacts new rules and regulations could have on your business.  They will create a one-page action plan with you to help ensure you're ready to continue EU trade.

The one-day training will cover the following core topics to help you, as an SME, continue trading:

  • EU:UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)

  • Exporting to the EU

  • Importing from the EU

  • Rules of Origin for duty free trade

  • Incoterms for EU trade

  • Commodity codes

  • Trade and customs documentation

  • Customs procedures

  • Product regulatory compliance

  • Summary and wrap up

Book your support package today.  Our team will help you through the grant application process.

  • £1950 inc. VAT for non-members

  • £1750 inc. VAT for IOE&IT members

The SME Brexit Support Fund can also be used against several of the Institute's one day training courses to ensure key members in your team have the knowledge they need to be able to continue to trade with the EU:

Due to COVID-19, courses are currently being offered through a virtual classroom.  You can view all the courses here.


Aims of the programme

The programme is designed to support innovation in the Construction, Health and Elec-Tech sectors.  It runs from 1 January 2021 until 30 June 2023. It is designed to support innovation to transform products, processes and services for the future, and create possibilities to extend, transform, replace and develop entirely new products and markets, growing their supply chains, feeding into improved productivity, employment and wider economic and other benefits for County Durham.  These sectors have been identified as they are areas of strength in County Durham.

Innovation areas have been further identified as strategically important in the LEP Economic Plan for the North East, to grow productivity, employment and new markets.  At government level, AI, The Data Economy, The Future of Mobility, Clean Growth, Ageing Society, and more recently The Green Economy, Net Zero and the Eight Great Enabling Technologies are very important innovation considerations for the future. Innovation may be disruptive, life enhancing and transition society to adapt, in order to meet our future needs in County Durham, and globally.

For further details on this project, please click here.


From the 31st December 2021 it will be mandatory to use the new UKCA marking (UKNI for Ireland) for products that currently require CE Marking, new guidance has been produced by UK Government.  Please see detailed step by step guidance and one page guides for both UKCA and UKNI as well as a FAQ document.

Work is currently being done to translate guidance into other languages so that businesses can make their overseas clients aware of the changes, as there is currently little awareness within the EU of these planned changes.


Electronic customs data is now required when sending items abroad

Electronic customs data is now mandatory when you send items/goods abroad (excluding personal correspondence).  You are required to provide customs data to us electronically in addition to the physical customs declaration (CN22 or CN23).  This has been effective since 1 January 2020.  Failure to comply is likely to result in delays, having items returned or even destroyed.

As of 1 June 2021, all Royal Mail shipping systems will require mandatory electronic customs data, to ship items internationally.

How to make it easy

Depending on how you are posting your items internationally, this will dictate on how you provide electronic customs data.

One of the ways to provide the required data is to use a shipping platform which meets the compliance requirements.

Royal Mail has shipping platforms such as Click & Drop* and Pro Shipping* or you can integrate you system with API Shipping.  These platforms capture and generate customs data files plus automatically create the required labels to send items abroad.

* Other competitor shipping systems also available

For Online postage, please ensure you complete the electronic customs form fully and completely.  This will pre-advise customs data to the receiving overseas postal authority and generate a physical customs form to attach to your item. 

Franking customers must include a self-adhesive S10 barcode on all untracked items (International Standard & International Economy) containing goods plus a clearly completed customs form (CN22/CN23).  Barcodes are available from www.royalmail.com/mailsupplies.  For tracked items an additional barcode is not required but clear and legible customs declarations must be completed.  Royal Mail will take care of customs pre-advice to the overseas postal authority.  See more on our International Services on account and franking page

If you are sending gifts/goods via a Post Office fully complete the relevant customs form (CN22 or CN23) clearly and legibly and attach it to your item. The Post Office will advise you of the correct customs form. Untracked items (International Standard and International Economy) should use the customs form that carries a barcode. If sending using one of our tracked and signature services an unbarcoded CN22/CN23 should be used. Royal Mail will take care of customs pre-advice to the overseas postal authority.

For further information, please visit the Royal Mail website.


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