NBSL continues to support Durham businesses

With change around every corner, Bitesize Business returns with a whole new range of sessions that will help support your business as it adapts to the pressure of changing COVID restrictions.

A Newton Aycliffe publisher is among the County Durham businesses to have received support from a £2.26 million funding pot managed by NBSL.

Well established Durham publishing house, Riney Publishing Ltd, plans to explore new markets thanks to funding support from the North East Business Support Fund from NBSL.

Owner Sue Riney-Smith has had a successful company for many years, but recognised the time was ripe to expand awareness and develop new markets. The need to develop a pro-active marketing strategy was her first priority to allow her to build upon her reputation for creating bespoke magazines from leading hotels to private schools, along with producing its own publication – Darlington Today.

At a time when every penny counts, Sue approached NBSL and was delighted to qualify for support from the North East Business Support Fund which allowed her to engage a professional to meet her aims. She employed Sorted PR, a company with a huge amount of experience and knowledge of her sector – and the sectors she wanted to grow into – to formulate a plan to help drive the business.

Plans included the identification of potential new markets for Riney Publishing to explore and build their brand’s reputation in existing markets where the business had a proven track record including its long history of providing bespoke magazines for the hospitality industry and for luxurious hotels, but spreading this message further was a main priority.

With plans now being implemented, Riney’s investment has already paid off with the business winning two new contracts to create high end magazines for leading North East hotels. At the same time the plan helped Sue focus on other potential markets which are already showing a positive interest in what her company can offer.

“Without the support of NBSL I wouldn’t have been able to afford to look at new markets or indeed consider growing my business in existing markets,” said Sue Riney. It’s made a huge difference and the business is already starting to benefit from it.

“I was really impressed by the fact the process is relatively straightforward and isn’t daunting at all and the team were very helpful.”

Bernice Saltzer, Managing Director of Sorted PR who is on the NBSL providers list, is also pleased at the fast results.

“We worked with Sue to look at ways she could target very specific markets,” she said. “We have a great deal of experience working in these markets and this has informed our strategy which hopefully should help Sue’s business to continued success.

“As an NBSL provider we’ve worked with a number of businesses and their support has made a massive, positive difference.”

Jonathan Barnes, Funding Advisor for NBSL, who helped Riney Publishing throughout the grant support process, said: “We understand some firms are put off by complex application processes, which is why we work with businesses to ensure it is as simple and as straight-forward as possible. We’ve been delighted to hear that this investment has provided a sustainable future for the business.”


With change around every corner, Bitesize Business returns with a whole new range of sessions that will help support your business as it adapts to the pressure of changing COVID restrictions.
Starting and finishing with your customers, NBSL’s Autumn programme will show you ways of finding new customers and how you can improve your sales and pitching techniques.

Sessions also delve into operational management – giving you the tools to assess and manage risk, as well as how you manage change, both personally and professionally.

The session on change management starts with the important role of engagement without damaging effectiveness or the efficiency of team dynamics and will allow your business to shape up for the challenges (and opportunities) that could lie ahead.

Sessions on risk management also plays a big part in the programme allowing you to understand risk and how to identify and plan for the unexpected allowing you to build robust plans to support your business resilience.

With the North East Business Support Fund masterclass programme in its final months, NBSL have been able to look at how they can make sure they support businesses quickly and provide aspirational masterclasses to help evaluate and adapt their sales and marketing plans as their customer base and communication techniques change.

The inaugural round of funding – the North East Business Support Fund – was launched in 2012, since then NBSL has provided funding and support to businesses from an array of sectors spanning all corners of the region with a recent impact report finding that the fund has yielded an impressive £4.40 economic boost for every £1 invested.