The NEAA answer your questions.

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The NEAA is one of the fastest growing industry clusters in the UK and the largest in automotive. We are an industry-led automotive cluster, established to support the economic sustainable growth and competitiveness of the automotive sector in the North East of England.

We have a proven track record in helping our members make valuable business connections, whilst also supporting collaborative opportunities and the coordination of industry-led activities. We have nurtured a network of like-minded businesses who take a collaborative approach to improving the region’s global competitiveness by sharing best practice, solving common problems, and driving innovation.

The projects we run are wide ranging, supporting SME’s through to multi-nationals. NEAA Projects are isolated from the core membership of the NEAA, although the programmes that we run are certainly driven by the demands of the sector and intelligence from the membership. All businesses from within the automotive sector are encouraged to check out the different programmes. In addition to this, businesses from outside the automotive sector who are looking to expand into this market should also see whether any of the programmes meet their needs.

We are continuously working with local enterprise partnerships and Government to secure funding for the automotive sector and our members that will enable the development of critical assets and infrastructure to support growth for our area.

The NEAA can help support members gain access to funding to grow your business. Whether you are looking for impartial support or grants for small and medium-sized companies and start-up businesses, if our current NEAA Projects can’t support you, we can signpost you to those that can.

As a priority, please review the current NEAA Projects, then get in touch with us if there is nothing suited to your business. You can contact us here

Eligibility for SMEs depends on the funding body.

ERDF stands for the European Regional Development Fund. It is one of the main EU funding programmes and provides money for a wide variety of projects, including several NEAA Projects. It aims to assist EU member states to improve their economies, through innovation, sustainability, and increased employment. To apply for European Regional Development Fund, applicants must be a legally constituted body, and not an individual or sole trader. An SME is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 250 employees at the time the support is given.

Other criteria may also be required, such as regional Local Enterprise Partnership, business category or financial status. Please contact the NEAA team to discuss this further.

Yes, many of our funded programmes can support businesses regardless of whether you are an NEAA member or not. For many companies it’s a good ‘taster’ to working with the NEAA and we often find these businesses join thereafter.

If you can’t find the answer to your question, then please get in touch.


Members will immediately benefit from the promotion of the North East automotive sector’s capabilities on regional, national and international levels and the network’s ability to connect the supply chain to business opportunities.