The programme, one of five strands of the Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP), is aimed at companies within County Durham that have never exhibited at the annual engineering and manufacturing expo.
The first two years of the Incubator Zone saw 38 companies put through 12 hours of intensive support, which have resulted in contract wins worth over £300,000 and 20 new jobs created.
Fourteen businesses have now booked their place for the 2019 programme and organisers are urging anyone interested to sign up now.
Michael Harriott, business engagement officer at DBOP, which is managed by Business Durham said: “We’ve had a great response from businesses that want to be involved and with just weeks to go until the event only a few stands remain. We must stress this is the last year of the Incubator Zone so if you are thinking about exhibiting, don’t hang around as you could miss out.
“Previous exhibitors have done very well, winning hundreds of thousands of pounds of new business and between them creating 20 new jobs which is great. So, if you’re a County Durham business that wants to grow and tap into the thriving engineering and manufacturing sectors, the Incubator Zone is perfect for you.”
The programme, which is ERDF funded and delivered by Business Durham’s Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) and LEC Communications and Design, was launched in 2017 to encourage those businesses who wouldn’t or couldn’t exhibit at EMCON, either because of lack of experience, resources or budget, to get involved.
Ben Gilhespy, operations director at the Engineering and Manufacturing Network (EMN) which organises EMCON, said: “The Incubator Zone programme has helped dozens of businesses to win work and to put themselves on the radars of some of the biggest companies in the region and beyond with a view to winning contracts further down the line. Without doubt these are companies that wouldn’t have otherwise exhibited, either because of a lack of experience, budget constraints or an incorrect perception that the event is only for bigger companies.
“This year could be the final time the Incubator Zone programme is held, so don’t miss out as it really could make a difference to your future growth.”
This year’s event will take place on Thursday 10 October at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe.