Northumberland Business Services Limited (NBSL) is a not-for-profit enterprise and business support organisation that manages, co-ordinates and delivers various UK and European funded programmes across Northumberland and the North East region. Our principal activity is to work with agencies and partners to encourage the creation and development of SMEs to grow and re-balance the North East’s private sector economy.

Our History

NBSL was incorporated in Dec 2000 to manage the contract for Business Link for Northumberland services. In 2007 when the UK’s individual Business Link services were merged into regional contracts, we were fortunate to be able to retain the management, back-office and delivery experience of a Business Link Operator but as a smaller and much more flexible Enterprise Agency. Our established compliance systems adapted easily as we successfully tendered for new funded programmes ranging from low volume /bespoke specialisms through to low cost / high volume impacts.

We are well known in Northumberland and the North East and have good relationships with funders and partners in the region’s business support network. We are regarded as highly compliant and reliable by funders as we fully understand evidence-based funding and our programmes are cost effective and Value for Money. We do what we say we will do.

Some of the recent projects we've delivered

We've helped over 9000 people to explore their business idea.

Over 3000 of them have gone on to plan their business start-up with us, leading to almost 2000 new business starting up.

We've supported over 14,000 businesses to grow and develop.

More than 10,000 businesses have accessed our funding programmes - between them, they've received over £14m of grants.

Our team have identified the skills needs of over 2,800 businesses.

And over 1300 businesses have trained their staff with NBSL - that's almost 5000 people who've developed their business skills.

Our Strengths

We strive for the highest quality and professionalism across all our services. We un-hesitantly maintain our ISO 9000 and Customer First Accreditations which mandates our quality systems and underpins our DBEIS Approved Enterprise Agency Status; our full membership of the National Enterprise Network: NEN (trading name of the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies: NFEA); our IOEE Academy status and our place on the ESFA’s UK register of Learning Providers. We are a member of NEEAL (North East Enterprise Agency Limited, formed 2008) which is a unique collaboration of all the North East Enterprise Agencies. Each partner organisation has an excellent track record in developing appropriate services that help North East businesses start, develop and grow. NEEAL enables an approach that ensures consistent delivery and compliance quality when regional coverage is required.

Read more about how we work

We're also supported and accredited by a number of key organisations:

Our head office and central compliance function is based in Ashington where we represent NEN and NEEAL as the agency for start-up services for Northumberland. Our mode of delivery is hybrid for both start up and SME support. We offer face to face support at either our Ashington premises, client premises or partner premises. But since remote working became the new-normal, client preference is usually to access online the workshops, skills programmes, 1:1 counselling/advisory support and group sessions on offer. Virtual support fundamentally increases accessibility to our services and enables many more longer distant and rural clients to access the available support.

Our team

Meet the great people who make everything happen.

Ros Smith NBSL

Ros Smith

Operations & Finance Director

Lynne Graham NBSL

Lynne Graham

Contract Finance Controller

John King NBSL

John King

NE Business Support Manager

Susan Matthews NBSL

Susan Matthews

Quality and Business Development

Joy Gair NBSL

Joy Gair

Business Funding Adviser

Jonathan Barnes NBSL

Jonathan Barnes

Business Funding Adviser

David Jackson NBSL

David Jackson

Skills Manager

Jemma McGaughey NBSL

Jemma McGaughey

Learning and Development Advisor

Scott Rowland NBSL

Scott Rowland

Enterprise Advisor


James Hayton

Funding and Compliance Manager


Stephen Thompson

Contracts and Compliance Officer


Kelly Vout

Contracts and Compliance Officer


Alan Halliday

Funding and Compliance Officer


Cheryl Charlton

Funding and Compliance Officer


Rachel Frazer

Funding and Compliance Officer


Stephen Lumley

Contracts and Compliance Officer


Caroline Johnson

Contracts and Compliance Officer


Vicki Savage

Contracts and Compliance Officer


Tony Moore

Contracts and Compliance Officer


Sarah Jane Jamieson

Contracts and Compliance Officer


Val Henderson

Contracts and Compliance Officer


Carol White

Contracts and Compliance Manager

Want to talk?

Speak to one of the team about your project


Register your business as an NBSL provider and stay up to date with the latest funding information.

If you provide business support services like marketing, business planning, human resources or financial planning find out how you could register with us to offer a grant of up to £3200 to your clients for work that you do for them.

Find out more

Our Support

From start up to growth.

Our unique support programmes can provide help no matter what stage your business is at.