A £2 million capital grant programme is seeking rural business leaders from the private sector to join an investment panel.

The Northumberland Small Business Service (NSBS) aims to provide direct local support services and investment to drive growth and resilience in rural businesses and communities.

It offers the opportunity to apply for capital grants ranging from £10,000 up to a maximum of £300,000.

The programme, delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of Northumberland County Council, will run from Summer 2023 until March 31, 2026.

The project is part funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority Investment Fund and by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the Rural England Prosperity Fund with the North of Tyne Combined Authority as the lead authority.

An investment panel will consist of representatives from the private and public sectors, including individuals from local authorities, the North of Tyne Combined Authority, Advance Northumberland, and local businesses.

The panel of volunteers will convene monthly to review applications.

The grant is available to all rural micro and small businesses/enterprises in Northumberland, provided they have a turnover of less than £10 million and employ fewer than 50 people.

The service is looking for candidates interested in joining the panel, particularly those with backgrounds in accountancy, law, and marketing.

Prospective candidates should submit a CV and covering letter.

Interested parties can contact Northumberland Small Business Service Programme Manager, Lucy Evermore, or Rural Growth Manager, Tony Brown, at lucy.evermore@advancenorthumberland.co.uk and tony.brown01@northumberland.gov.uk respectively.