European Union - European Regional Development Fund

Business Event to help unlock growth among Darlington's SME community

Tees Valley Business Compass and Darlington Borough Council are collaborating to support and drive growth among the town’s business community, as part of Darlington Business Week.

Darlington Business Week 2017
Thursday 14th September, 2017

The two organisations will be hosting a Business Growth Surgery to help SMEs access support and guidance during one on one sessions with organisations from across the region, covering a range of topics, including:

• Funding opportunities and financial advice;
• Improving current business technologies;
• Apprenticeships and skills training to take businesses forward;
• Supply chain development;
• How to win business in the public sector;
• Exporting opportunities;
• Coaching and mentoring for business owners

Business experts at the Business Growth Surgery, include representatives from Tees Valley Business Compass, Materials Processing Institute, BE Group, Clive Owen LLP, FW Captial/NPIF, RTC North, UK Steel Enterprise, Teesside University and the Department for International Trade.

The free event will take on Thursday, 21 September from 8.30am at Business Central Darlington, on High Street, and is aimed at businesses with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £50m.

Shak Asghar, Growth Service Manager of Tees Valley Business Compass said: “We are committed to supporting small businesses and to help them unlock their growth potential. The event will provide Darlington business owners with the opportunity to access key information and advice from leading experts, who have vast experience in supporting SMEs and can cover many topics to equip people with useful skills and contacts.

“It is important to embrace the first-ever Darlington Business Week and we are delighted to be collaborating with Darlington Borough Council to mark the occasion, while delivering support to the region’s business community.”

The support available for companies through Tees Valley Business Compass, the local growth hub, comes from an investment of more than £9.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), secured by Tees Valley Combined Authority. Support is available for growth, along with projects that increase broadband connectivity, research and development, innovation, and energy efficiency.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for economy and regeneration said;
“This is a brilliant way to get industry experts together under one roof to offer tailor made advice to those who wish to start a new enterprise or grow their existing business. I urge local businesses and those considering starting up on their own, to get involved in Business Week and see what’s on offer. Thirty minutes or more could make the difference between surviving and thriving.”

To book a 30-minute session with one or more of the business experts at the event, visit:

Tees Valley Business Compass is the local growth hub delivered by BE Group on behalf of Tees Valley Combined Authority. It helps ambitious businesses realise their growth potential by offering access to a range of practical services, from local business information, assessing growth options through to unlocking finance and funding streams. The growth hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

The Tees Valley Business Growth Hub has received £9,520,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www,

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