Business Durham and UMI Logo

New grant to benefit SME’s investing in County Durham


The County Durham Growth Fund launched by Business Durham and delivered by UMi (formerly BE Group), offers both start up and well established businesses in County Durham access to finance in support of capital expenditure within the region.

The Fund aims to create and retain employment in County Durham by offering grant funding starting from £20,000. Being grant funding, there is no repayment and there is no maximum on what may be claimed.


Is my business eligible?

To receive the grant, your business must be classed as an SME (a Small or Medium Enterprise). In short, this is all companies which have fewer than 250 employees, annual turnover less than €50m and a balance sheet less than €43m. Your business must either be established in, or in the process of relocating to, County Durham. The purpose of the grant is to support capital investment and the creation and retention of employment. This must therefore be demonstrated in any grant application.

How could the funding help my business?

Businesses must be able to demonstrate the funding will be used to directly benefit the development of their business.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following expenditure:-

  • Land and buildings.
  • Plant, machinery and other capital equipment.
  • Premises lease costs.
  • Premises fit out costs.


How can Swinburne Maddison assist?

We can assist you both in initial work in respect of the grant itself but also, importantly, considering any legal risks and opportunities attached to the proposed investment. It is crucially important to protect you and your business during a business expansion. In addition to discussing the grant funding available to you, we can advise you on the following key areas:-

  • Any proposed borrowing proposals and associated issues of security.
  • Existing or new employment contracts and HR policies and procedures.
  • The legalities around the refit of existing business premises or the purchase of new business premises, whether by way of lease or freehold acquisition.
  • Considering the structure and operation of your business through well drafted Articles of Association, Shareholders’ Agreement / Partnership Agreements and terms and conditions.


If you require any further information on the grant or wish to discuss any legal or commercial issues associated with any planned investment or expansion, please contact Alex Wilby, Partner in the Corporate and Commercial team, on 0191 384 2441 or

View All Articles >