Get Set to Export contest helps Teesside firms grow exports

The Get Set to Export competition, aimed at SMEs in the area, is being supported by the Redcar-based science and business park Wilton Centre, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)

Photo credit: Chapman Brown Photography
MD Andrew Shaw, right, with members of the GMT team

Teesside businesses with plans to export are being encouraged to get involved with an initiative that could see them landing £4,000 of support to break into new markets.

The Get Set to Export competition, aimed at SMEs in the area, is being supported by the Redcar-based science and business park Wilton Centre, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Entrants need to complete an online application form, describing their export ideas in no more than 200 words. Shortlisted applicants will then present their ideas to a panel of experts in mid-March before the winners are selected.

Successful businesses will join UKTI’s flagship Passport to Export programme and gain access to over £4,000 of support geared to helping their businesses to expand and prosper overseas.

As part of the package, they will receive expert business advice from international trade advisers, as well as support through UKTI’s overseas teams, access to an Export Communications Review and grants for visiting the overseas market.

Among those backing the initiative is Guardian Marine Testing (GMT) which employs 40 staff at Wilton Centre.

The company, which offers fuel testing services to the shipping industry and has recently pioneered a revolutionary system for detecting chemical contamination in fuel, has grown turnover more than tenfold in the last year, almost solely through exports.

Managing director Andrew Shaw, who will be on the competition judging panel, said that he would encourage companies to grasp opportunities like this, as such competitions could prove a “tremendous boost for morale and confidence”.

Wilton Centre site director, Steve Duffield said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to grow a business and we are proud to be able to sponsor it. The guidance and expertise on offer from UKTI has proved invaluable to many of our tenants and we are firmly behind any initiative that will help drive business success in this region.”

Mark Hannon, cabinet member for economic development at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “We want to encourage and support our local businesses to explore international opportunities.

“The competition will provide the winners with the assistance needed to break into new markets across the globe, bringing new money into our local economy and creating new jobs for local residents.”

Further details are available at enquiries@uktinortheast.org.uk or by calling 08450 505 054. The deadline for submissions is February 28

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer