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State aid

The EU rules prohibiting assistance given by the State to businesses are complex and of growing importance due to increasing awareness and enforcement. The State aid rules prevent the State giving any assistance to business.

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 (eg grant funding) it can also apply when businesses do not expect it to (eg the construction of infrastructure which benefits a particular business).

Our lawyers have unrivalled experience in the region of advising on this complex and little understood area. They have acted for State bodies granting aid, potential aid recipients and third party objectors. They are able to use the flexibility of the rules and their knowledge of procedure and risk to provide innovative solutions which deliver the outcomes you need.

Our lawyers 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 lawyers’ 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, the impending JEREMIE 2 and Big Lottery Fund
  • advising British Business Bank on the implementation of Enterprise Finance Guarantee Schemes worth an estimated £7 billion
  • advising on State aid issues arising from major regeneration projects including Middlesbrough Digital City, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter
  • Newcastle Science Central and North Tyneside Neptune
  • advising objectors to State aid in relation to numerous regional airports
  • advising on State aid issues arising from the award of UK rail franchises
  • advising on State aid issues relating to the public funding of rail infrastructure


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