Your organisation is eligible for support if you meet the following criteria:


Your organisation’s location

This programme is available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) based across the North of Tyne region.

You will not be required to be based within a rural area but will need to have a trading address in either Northumberland, Newcastle or North Tyneside, and engaged in some form of commercial activity.

Your organisation’s activity

To be eligible for support, your organisation should be working towards the delivery of solutions which support the rural economy.

Your organisation should be a Small to Medium Enterprise

When you complete the registration form, we will ask you for details of the number of employees within the organisation and the most recent annual turnover figures. This is to ensure that you meet the definition of a Small to Medium Enterprise.

The definition of an SME

An SME is defined as: An organisation of up to 250 employees and have either an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro OR an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro.

Further SME definition information can be found here https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/conferences/state-aid/sme/smedefinitionguide_en.pdf (PDF, 1.4Mb).

If your organisation is linked to another organisation or part of a group

You can still apply if your organisation is linked to another organisation, or part of a group.

The registration form will ask you for details of any other organisations that you are linked to. You will need to provide the number of employees and turnover of these organisations too.

Establishing the eligibility of a partner or linked enterprise can be complex, please contact us directly if you have any queries about your individual circumstances.

Ineligible sectors

Most business sectors are eligible for support through this project but there are a few which are not. They are:

  • Fishery and aquaculture sectors.

  • Primary production of agricultural products.

  • Processing and marketing of agricultural products.

  • Coal sector

We will ask you to tell us what sector your organisation operates in within the registration form and you will be provided with a range of options. Please select the one which is most appropriate to your business and we will contact you if we have any additional queries.

Charitable organisations and social enterprises

Charitable organisations and social enterprises are eligible, as long as they meet the criteria detailed above and are therefore:

  • An SME

  • Trading in Northumberland, Newcastle or North Tyneside

  • Engaged in commercial activity

  • Operating in an eligible sector

Providing a funded service

There is no cost to you in registering and accessing our programme of support. 

All costs are part funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, and part funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

If you go on to apply for grant support, you will have to provide match funding that contributes towards the total eligible cost of the grant application, but this will be discussed on an individual basis.

The support that you receive will be managed through a mechanism called State Aid.

State Aid is the process through support can be provided to SMEs without distorting competition in the market.

State Aid and this project

The assistance provided through this project will comply with the State Aid rules in line with the De Minimis exemption (in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013, OJ L 352/1) and the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance provision (SAFA) (in accordance with the UK Subsidy Control regime (under Article 3.2 (4) Part Two, Title XI, Chapter 3 of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement)

Under De Minimis exemption a single undertaking may receive up to the limit of €200,000 of De Minimis aid from the Member State within which it does business and which provides the aid over any period of three fiscal years.

SAFA provision allows a business or organisation to receive a Subsidy of up to a value of Special Drawing Rights ("SDR") of £325,000 over a rolling three fiscal years.

If, within the current or past two fiscal years, your business or organisation, or any other business or organisation that it may be linked with, has received support from any public sources in any form, financial or non-financial, then your business may have received Aid through De Minimis or SAFA.

If you have any questions or queries about this, a member of the project team will be happy to discuss your individual circumstances.

If you have received support from another funded project

If you have received support from a funded project before, you will most likely still be eligible.

The amount of State Aid subsidised support your business may receive is capped under the De Minimis exemption and the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance provision.

We ask you to complete a State Aid declaration form when you register to the programme on which you will need to add details of support your business has received in the last 3 financial years. If you aren’t sure or would like more information, then please get in touch and we can help you.

If you are not eligible for help on this programme

If you are not eligible for help on this programme, there may be other projects you can get involved in.

The Rural Design Centre have a number of different projects through which you may be eligible for support. You can find out more on the Rural Design Centre website.

There are also other programmes being delivered by Advance Northumberland which you may be eligible for. You can find out more on the Advance Northumberland website.

In addition, the North East Growth Hub provides an online directory of all business support programmes in delivery across the region. Find out more on the North East Growth Hub website. 

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