Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Business Accelerator scheme helps 200 companies across region
A PROGRAMME set up to bolster small and medium-sized (SME) companies has created 170 new North-East jobs after working with 200 companies across the region.
The Business Acceleration for SME scheme, launched last year, aims to help 400 firms in the process industry and develop sales in the process industry.
The programme, delivered by the North-East Industry Cluster (NEPIC), will initially run for three years, and assists companies through mentoring and workshops, promoting exports and supporting firms taking new products to the market.
One of the companies the scheme has helped is Middlesbrough-based chemical specialist Chemoxy International, who says it has been able to create new jobs and increase business by £4m thanks to NEPIC's support.
The firm's All Saints refinery site, in Cargo Fleet Road, occupies the spot where, in 1869, industrialist Samuel Sadler founded a tar distillery that started the region's chemical process industry.
Ian Stark, Chemoxy chief executive, said: “We have received advice on a number of fronts from the support agencies we needed to carry out our management buy-out, to supply chain connections and new business opportunities.
“NEPIC’s advice and contacts have helped to grow our business by £4m and create 20 new jobs.”
Dr Stan Higgins, NEPIC chief executive, said the scheme has been successful, but said it has the potential to achieve even more.
He said: “We have a fascinating portfolio of North-East companies on board and have already developed some impressive case studies.
“The combined efforts of the team, our industry mentors and the participating SMEs have led to the creation of 170 jobs in eighteen months and if this was a new investor to the region, it would be front page news.
“While many agencies are out there chasing the big new foreign direct investment, the answer to our economic development needs may be on our door step.
“The attraction of a single £100m investment might bring 100 permanent jobs, however, developing our local SMEs has the capability of generating many more.”
Comments are closed on this article.