Eligibility – your project

We can fund a range of projects that bring something new to your business.


The funding can provide a grant towards bringing in external expertise that will enable the business to deliver an innovative project and/or towards the cost of equipment that will help the business adapt or adopt new technology.

For a project to be eligible for this grant funding, it must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be able to be completed, paid for in full and the grant claimed before the 30th of April 2023.
  • It must be focussed on innovation – this is either:
    • developing a product or service that is new to the business.
    • developing a product or service that is new to the market, or
    • bringing in a process, practice or technology that is new to the business.
  • It will respond to a clearly identified market need, challenge or problem.
  • It must be able to identify, explore or deliver a clear route to market with economic impact or demonstrate a clear societal impact through innovation.
  • Any economic or societal impact, which is forecast to be delivered as a result of the project, must be expected to occur before the end of September 2023. For example, a project that is expected to lead to the launch of a product in 2024 would not be eligible.
  • Research and Development projects can only be considered where they will lead to the imminent commercialisation of new products or services.

Please note – no project work can commence, and no payments can be made, until a Funding Contract has been awarded and signed by all parties.

Using your grant

Most businesses that apply for funding will use one provider / supplier to fulfil their needs, such as buying machinery / digital equipment or a consultancy project.

But there’s also flexibility to use your grant in the way that best supports your business. For example, you can buy equipment (machinery or digital equipment), you can pay for external expertise to help your business or you can do a combination of both. If your project has multiple elements and/or a mix of providers / suppliers the following criteria all need to be met:

  • No more than five providers / suppliers are to be used.
  • No single item can cost less than £1,000 (ex vat), unless it is a peripheral that is required to make the main machinery / equipment work and it is being bought as part of a package from the same supplier.
  • All of the separate pieces of equipment (or services) are eligible for funding.
  • The total amount being spent on equipment must be between £5,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT) or the total amount being spent on external expertise should be between £8,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT).

We can’t cover every eventuality in this information, if you’re thinking about using your grant with a number of different suppliers and would like to check with us, please just email the details to [email protected] and we’ll get back to you.

Examples of eligible projects

The funding can be used towards a variety of projects, examples of the types of project that can be funded include:


Most equipment that will help businesses to adapt or adopt new technology or processes can be funded. Examples of equipment purchases where a grant may be awarded:

  • New IT equipment to help the business adapt to new working practices (for example, the introduction of Point of Sale Equipment) or to help the business bring a new product or service to the market.
  • Production machinery to enable a new product to be brought to market.
  • Software purchases to help the business work more efficiently or bring a new product / service to market – only the outright purchase of Software may be eligible, monthly or quarterly recurring costs are not eligible for support.
  • CRM purchases to enable the business to operate more efficiently – only the outright purchase of a CRM may be eligible, monthly or quarterly recurring costs are not eligible for support.

External Expertise

Design, development, coaching or consultancy support that will help the business to deliver their innovation project. Examples of projects include:

  • Process Improvement Consultancy to:
    • Develop new work practices and processes to help the business operate more efficiently which could include contributing to the Net Zero Agenda.
    • Develop improved Cyber Security protocols.
    • Develop new approaches to Data Management and Analytics.
  • Product development – Consultancy or Design support to help bring a new or improved product to market.
  • Design and Development of new-to-company software or other IT Solutions.
  • Leadership and Management Development – Coaching/Training related to company innovation/evolution (Qualifications and Accredited Courses cannot be funded).
  • Marketing Support to:
    • Develop a Marketing Strategy to bring a new product or service to market.
    • Design and produce a new or enhanced website to help the business trade online (like for like replacement websites cannot be funded).

The lists provided above are not exhaustive – projects and costs will be assessed for suitability as part of the grant application process

Project Exclusions

The Innovation Recovery Grant cannot be used to fund the following:

  • ‘Business as usual’ costs (including the purchase of standard IT equipment for new staff).
  • Purchasing replacement or upgrades of existing equipment.
  • Construction or building work.
  • Purchasing vehicles.
  • Consumables or raw materials.
  • Business Stock.

Provider/Supplier relationships

The Provider or Supplier chosen must be an impartial and independent 3rd party. We cannot fund projects where the Provider or Supplier has:

  • a commercial relationship with the Applicant i.e. they will be a beneficiary from the proposed project.
  • a legal or financial relationship (Director, Shareholder etc.) with the Applicant.

Procurement Evidence

If your Application is successful you will be asked to source proposals/quotes from providers/suppliers for the work or equipment you intend to use the funding towards – we will need this before we can issue your funding contract.

In order to ensure you receive your Funding Contract in a timely manner you may wish to start gathering the required Procurement Evidence

In terms of Procurement Evidence one of the following is required:

  • Copies of proposals/quotes received from 3 different providers/suppliers for the work or equipment you intend to use the funding towards
  • Evidence of seeking 3 proposals/quotes (this may be evidence of an email request providing a project specification / requirements)
  • Justification where only 1 provider/supplier can undertake the work / supply the equipment

Please note – the success of your Application for Funding cannot be guaranteed so please do not commit to undertake any work or purchase any equipment. Also, do not make any payments to any provider/supplier prior to receiving and signing a Funding Contract (any payments made prior to a Funding Contract being in place will not be eligible for the Grant)

Any questions?

If you have a project in mind but aren’t sure whether it would be eligible for a grant, you can get in touch with one of our Innovation Advisers before you apply to talk through your ideas.

Just email [email protected] and one of the team will get back in touch.

Business eligibility

Your business should be eligible for funding if it’s a trading SME based in the North of Tyne area.

Funding process

Accessing the North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant is very straightforward – you could have a decision on your grant application within a few weeks.

Apply for a grant

We’ll need to know some details about your business, the project you’d like to fund with a North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant and how it will help.

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