News & Events

Pandemic Business Recovery Grant Support Neale Cooke

Wednesday 20th July 2022

The ‘Pandemic Business Recovery Grant’ was started by the South Durham Enterprise Agency to encourage new start-up businesses and existing business to thrive after the challenging last few years.

Although lockdowns are no longer a buzzword, many of the Covid-19 impacts are still lingering in today's society. Which is why we believe there should be increased exposure for the level of support that can be supplied by South Durham Enterprise Agency.

We wanted to speak to those who sought support from the ‘South Durham Enterprise Agency’ and benefited from the ‘Pandemic Business Recovery Grant’.

Speaking to Neale Cooke, who works within the financial planning sector, about his experience with the programme and how this has helped him get lifted off the ground.

Neale was looking to start his own business at the start of last year, however he was hesitant. Therefore, he began to explore local funding opportunities.

“I had heard about the work South Durham Enterprise Agency was doing through a friend and looking at their website I came across the ‘Pandemic Business Recovery Grant’. I was interested in the level of support that this could provide my business ventures and arranged an appointment to discuss this further.”

The business grant advisor worked alongside Neale as he explained his current situations and his visions for his future business. South Durham Enterprise Agency supported Neale with start-up business planning, cash flow forecasting and provided Neale with an understanding of how to transform his business ideas into a solid plan.

“The level of support they provide was very useful, especially for a business like mine. They introduced me to vital business planning skills, and they really guided me to get the most out of it.”

Neale accessed multiple forms of support that is available through the programme. The funding granted Neale to purchase technical equipment essential to starting his business and giving him the tools, which will take him into the future. The new technology will enable Neale’s business to be transportable and become nationwide with the opportunity to develop leads from across the UK and further afield. 

The grant funding also allowed Neale to provide funding for a compliance firm, so he could progress with his business.

“Steve referred me another grant and programme in the local area, so I could start to look at my online presence. We are still in the process of this, and it will allow me to have a website produced and branding for my new business, which I didn’t have before before working with South Durham Enterprise agency.”

The next 6 months for Neale looks very exciting, with the aim of moving into an office within the local area so he could have a base for clients to come to him. 

Neale’s company, Principled Financial Planning, is looking to be up and running by October this year. Providing specialised investments, which will be screened for their ethical and sustainable impact.

Neale would like to thank the team for the support and the friendliness they have provided through each step of the process, he hailed that “This programme is perfect for those who have had the idea of setting up their own business, but not sure where or how to start. They help you by collaborating, but you still have to dedicate your time to get your business started. It prepares you for what's coming.”

We wish Neale all the best for his business ventures. To follow along with Neale’s updates, click here to follow him on LinkedIn. 

If you are in the CLLD area (postcode dependant) and either have the ambition to start your own business or are an existing business, we can support you just like how we supported Neale.

Please get in touch with a member of our grant advisors today to ask about your eligibility for the grant funding:

Or give us a call on:

01388 776688