ACCESSING grants and funding to enable local businesses to grow and develop will be the hot topic at an event on Thursday 11 October, from 3.30-6pm at Blackwell Grange Hotel, Darlington.

Going for Business Growth – Grants and Finance, forms part of the second ever Darlington Business Week from Monday 8 – Friday 12 October. Hundreds of local business people have already signed up for a range of events and networking opportunities including a Business Summit Breakfast, Nerf Networking event, and a procurement workshop to help businesses learn how to tender for public sector contracts.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen will welcome guests to the Thursday event and present the range of different initiatives in the Tees Valley designed to support business growth, especially those linked to job creation and expansion into new markets.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:

“I’m looking forward to meeting a host of companies during the week. Creating jobs in Tees Valley, real jobs that can support families, means supporting small businesses as they grow. Our Business Compass Service is working flat out to reach out to small, growing firms and giving them the resources and confidence to scale up.”

Mark Carrigan, the council’s business investment manager, said: “We’re pleased to offer this session focussing on grants and finance during Darlington Business Week because there’s so much support out there for businesses of all sizes.

“The business support team at Darlington Borough Council are specialists in putting businesses in touch with the right organisations to help them get the right help and support to grow their company.

“The team offers an impartial service to all and can help businesses with funding and grants, as well as opening up doors to practical support such as information on available land or expansion opportunities.”

Local engineering firm, Ardmore Craig, successfully applied for business grants worth more than £30,000 to help with their expansion plans. The company has now settled into its new office in The Beehive at Lingfield Point, Darlington. In the past three months, the company has expanded both the size of its team and service offering, with staff growth of 25 per cent.

Andy Stevenson, director at Ardmore Craig said:“It’s been a really successful year for us. This funding means additional capacity to undertake larger scopes of work and to take on more clients as the business looks to grow. New business areas and our new company website will allow us to offer more efficient and cost effective services.”

The Council’s Business Support team will be on hand at the event to offer their own localised expertise and advice. Representatives from the British Business bank, who look after the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, will also be on hand to offer advice to local businesses and those from across the Tees Valley.

More details on Darlington Business Week are available from www.investindarlington.co.uk/events Tickets are free for every event but should be booked in advance to confirm numbers. The Business Support team are available to offer advice and support to businesses who can’t attend the event. They can be contacted on 01325 406305/ business.support@darlington.gov.uk