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State aid

State aid rules prevent the State giving any assistance to businesses. The EU and WTO rules imposed on States and impacting on businesses are complex and of growing importance due to increasing awareness and enforcement.

They have the potential to impact any business which is trading with a public body or which receives money from a public source. Whilst this includes more “obvious” examples of State assistance (e.g. grant funding) they can also apply when businesses do not expect it to (e.g. the construction of infrastructure which benefits a particular business).

We have unrivalled experience in the North East advising on this complex area. We have acted for State bodies granting aid, potential aid recipients and third party objectors. We are able to use the flexibility of the rules and our knowledge of procedure and risk to provide innovative solutions which deliver the outcomes you need.

Our lawyers also work closely with granting bodies, central and local Government and third sector bodies including the Local Enterprise Partnerships. Whether you need a State aid assessment to obtain grant funding, are concerned that you are being treated unfairly by Government or believe that one of your competitors has received an unfair advantage, our lawyers are keen to talk to you and will be well placed to assist.

Examples of our experience in this area include advising on:

  • State aid issues relating to various grant and investment schemes including Regional Growth Fund, Grant for Business Investment, JEREMIE I and II, the North East Fund and Big Lottery Fund
  • British Business Bank on the implementation of Enterprise Finance Guarantee Schemes worth an estimated £7 billion
  • State aid issues arising from major regeneration projects including Newcastle Stephenson Quarter, Newcastle Eagles Stadium, the Genesis Trust
  • Newcastle Science Central and North Tyneside Neptune
  • Objectors to State aid in relation to numerous regional airports

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