Citylife Business Support

Tailored advice to help SMEs to adapt to new challenges and safeguard jobs

Citylife Business Support is a new service for SMEs who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. Funded though the £1.5m Capacity Fund that was granted to Newcastle City Council by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, it is part of the city’s commitment to supporting businesses, voluntary and community organisations and unemployed residents who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.  

The service has been set up by extending and bringing together services and expertise from across the city. Delivery partners Business & IP Centre Newcastle and NewcastleGateshead Initiative developed a package of free support that will focus on enabling businesses to develop and implement new models of delivery to help them recover and plan for their future.

Eligible SMEs can access:

  • Up to 8 hours of free support from Business & IP Centre Newcastle (BIPC) ‘Citylife Experts’.
  • Workshops tailored to specific business needs.
  • A free events programme based on current business challenges, the funding landscape, resilience, and innovation.

Sign up for regular communications from the Citylife Business Support team who will share the latest advice from government, best practice, and our latest programme of events.

Citylife Experts

These Experts are small businesses or business support organisations who have worked in partnership with BIPC Newcastle, through the centre’s ‘Experts in Residence’ programme, or have delivered and supported workshops and events organised by BIPC. They offer free one-to-one advice and support, delivered online or in person, as well as the option of carrying out a project or piece of work on your behalf.

You can draw on the experience of more than 20 experts and access an additional 8 hours of free support from up to 2 of our Citylife Experts. Advice available ranges from digital and online capabilities, business finance and cash flow, access to new contracts and market opportunities to employment law, continuity planning and re-focusing business operations. 

To be eligible for support from a CityLife expert, a business must be a small or medium-sized enterprise, located within the local authority areas of Newcastle, Northumberland or North Tyneside and have been trading before 11 March 2020.

Find out more at

Free events programme

SMEs will also have access to a free events programme, delivered by business leaders who will share their expertise on themes including resilience, innovation and the challenges businesses are facing as a result of COVID-19. The events programme is shaped around the intelligence we gather directly from the SMEs we support ensuring our approach meets their needs. Events will mainly take place online but could include face-to-face events in the future.

The events programme will be organised in collaboration with the GX Project. The GX project, led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, provides a range of opportunities to North-East SMEs. GX is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The events are open to businesses in the North East LEP region.

View latest events programme

This project is delivered and supported by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, the Business & IP Centre Newcastle and NewcastleGateshead Initiative.