North West ERDF Support For SMEs – A Simple Guide

What’s On Offer

There are two options available under the programme:-

  1. International Trade Grants to support international projects and activities
  2. Twelve hours of free consultancy services for international business development

Any project must be completed by the end of August and all claims submitted by first week in September 2018.

Who Is Eligible

North West SMEs:-

  • companies with less than 250 employees or full-time equivalent
  • a turnover of less than €43m (approx £44m)

Who Is Not Eligible

Companies in the following sectors:  Agriculture, Fisheries, Retail, Synthetic Fibres, Shipbuilding, Steel, Public Services, School-age education, Nuclear, Banking and Insurance

Companies who have received €200,000 (approx £175,000) of State Aid in the last 3 years

What Can It Be Used For

Overseas seminars, exhibitions and market visits

  • Cost of an overseas trade stand/exhibition space
  • Flights and accommodation for overseas visits
  • Translators and Interpreters
  • Overseas seminar/conference fees

Consultancy services

  • Export Consultancy
  • Language Services
  • Market Research/Information
  • Export training
  • International Marketing
  • Export Strategy

The above list is not exhaustive, so if you have anything else in mind, please ask.

ERDF International Trade Grant

The grant is paid at 50% of the costs of a project (excluding VAT)

The minimum claim is £1000 against a project cost of £2000

The maximum claim is £1500 against a project cost of £3000

Claims are submitted after the project is completed and invoices have been paid in full


You must not have committed to a project before applying for a grant or consultancy service (i.e. confirmed a booking for an exhibition stand/booked flights/entered into an agreement with a consultant to provide services etc)

Quotations must be obtained from three separate Providers for the application.  The exception to this is the cost of seminar/conference fees and exhibition stand costs where there is only one possible Provider.

The aim of any support provided is to increase an Applicant’s turnover, export turnover and most importantly, to create jobs.  Applicants must agree to provide updated information in the future to enable the full impact of support to be evaluated. This may include financial information or information about employees such as jobs created/safeguarded as a result of the support provided.

Consultancy Framework

DIT North West have invited Providers of International Consultancy services to register on a Consultancy Framework that North West SMEs can access.  This is an alternative to applying for a grant and eligible companies will be entitled to 12 hours of free consultancy from the framework.

The benefits of using the framework:-

  • A simpler and quicker application process
  • No need to obtain three quotations
  • No initial financial outlay
  • Consultants have already been vetted and approved by DIT North West

Download the full guide HERE

Next Steps

If you would like to find out more or would like to apply for ERDF support, please contact me on catherynn@cumbriachamber.co.uk

  • Exporting is Great