Jump to content


SORRY: This Programme is now CLOSED

Designing Better Business has been developed to help you place design and innovation at the heart of your business.

Whether understanding customer needs, generating new ideas, improving internal processes or ensuring design is adding value to your business proposition, this programme offers a blended service to help you make innovation happen.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Designing Better Business delivers different levels of support to help address any challenges holding you back.

Level 1:
Strengthening Design and Innovation Capability

Building on the success of Design Network North (DNN), clients will be encouraged to join one of the North East region's most active business networks bringing manufacturers, designers and service providers together to focus on design topics relevant to modern business.

Activities to include:

  • Monthly Rise and Design meetings based on innovation and design themes
  • Joint events with sector based clusters
  • Expanded Boomerang troubleshooting and B2B matchmaking service
  • Specialist design and innovation workshops hosted off-site or at your business
  • NPD evaluation service for non-members and other clusters

Level 2:
Up to 40% Grant funding for work with external specialists
projects between £2,500 and £5,000

SMEs often struggle to find relevant expertise to fill skills gaps in the business. A key strength of Designing Better Business is utilising external experts who can analyse plans for growth and help manage the changes needed to bring new ideas to market.

Level 3:
Up to 40% Grant funding for Product Design
projects up to £20,000

To provide packages of financial support for companies bringing forward projects that will improve the design of a new product or service offering. The principle mechanism will be the allocation of grants for new product design and innovation projects.

Any exemplar grants will be backed up by project management and mentoring support.

Applicable Regions: Programme no longer open