A NORTHUMBERLAND-BASED enterprise specialising in sporting events has expanded its business activity after support from a graduate internship programme by Northumbria University.

Extra Mile Media + Events was established in Hexham in 2010 by former international athletes and sport stars Steve Cram and Allison Curbishley.

Through its experience of elite sport, media production, charitable fundraising, and corporate entertaining, the business creates unique and memorable events.

The Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support 2 (NEBS2) scheme from Northumbria University offers financial assistance and advice to SMEs with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

With funding support from the scheme, Extra Mile Media + Events was able to employ Northumbria graduate Gus Withers, for six months and pay his salary as an intern.

With Gus on board, it was able to deliver, for the first time, Forest Runner - a series of events with Forestry England.

Gus had previously worked with Extra Mile Media + Events during his second year studying sports management, where he undertook a three-month placement and had worked as a casual employee before that.

“I am really enjoying working with Extra Mile Media + Events and taking on more responsibility", said Gus. "Stepping into a brand-new role has been an exciting challenge.

"Leading a small team and learning the logistics of planning and overseeing events has given me a confidence boost entering the industry as a recent graduate.

“As a runner myself, I have loved being part of such big events and having an input on their delivery. The skills I have gained in this role is something I will take forward in my career.”

Allison Curbishley, director of Extra Mile Media + Events, added: “We were presented with the opportunity to join the NEBS2 scheme during a really busy period. Covid restrictions were lifting, and we were full steam ahead planning upcoming events. Having taken on the Forest Runner series, we needed someone with the right skills to join us and oversee the delivery, and we trusted that Gus could take on the challenge.

“Not only has the scheme enabled us to run these events smoothly, but it has also made us more self-sufficient as a business, as we now have the capacity to investigate event opportunities ourselves.”

Available to businesses in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, NEBS2 will run until June 23 to provide a package of services to enhance the competitiveness and growth of SMEs, and to support the creation of new graduate enterprises.