Yorkshire businesses urged to apply for £3,000 export grants before EU funding runs out

Grant funding of up to £3,000 is available for businesses in the Leeds and Sheffield city regions, to help expand overseas sales, with just months left before the Government and European Union scheme closes.

Via its Export for Growth programme, the Department for International Trade (DIT) is offering match-funded grants of up to £3,000, with the funding due to close in May and some £70,000 still up for grabs.

Paul Snape, programme director for ExportExchange.co.uk, the free peer-to-peer export mentoring service for Leeds City Region urged businesses to make applications in order to take advantage of the funding.

“There are some great new exporters who haven’t yet received funding from this programme, and around ten per cent of our members have made successful applications in recent months.

“Sometimes the match funding makes the difference between an export project being viable, or not, to an SME, and we know that the process of claiming funding has been streamlined in recent years to help businesses reduce the time it takes to get support approved. We’re trying to spread the word to new or growing exporters across the region.”

The grants are available to help pay for a range of services that are often essential for businesses that are exploring or expanding overseas sales. They include design, international marketing, translation services, market research and the costs of overseas visits.

Firms based in the Leeds City Region, which includes nine local authority area across West, North and South Yorkshire; and in the Sheffield City Region, which also covers Barnsley Doncaster and Rotherham, are eligible to apply for up to £3,000 towards overseas trade activities. Businesses in the Humber area can apply for a maximum grant of £2,000.

Ingunn Vallumroed, ERDF project manager at the DIT, said: “Through organisations such as ExportExchange, we have had lots of applications for Export for Growth grants and more than 350 Leeds City Region businesses have used this funding so far to grow or initiate overseas sales.

“Firms such as Harrogate Water Brands have found the grants, which cover up to half the costs of a project, incredibly useful and we are urging any businesses that are already exporting, or are exploring the potential benefits of selling overseas, to get in touch and check on their eligibility.

“This funding really will end in May, or when the current pot of £70,000 is used up, so it’s essential to get in touch as soon as possible to avoid missing out.”