BUSINESSES across the region have a new ally to provide them with advice on research grants.

Beta Technology, which has an impressive record of helping companies across the UK obtain a step up with its expert knowledge and contacts, has opened an office at Riverside Park, in Middlesbrough.

Having brought in more than £100m of European funding for 3,000 British firms in the past ten years, Beta is turning its attention to the region's growing businesses.

Its Middlesbrough office will be dedicated to stimulating business growth, including fostering research and development collaboration with research partners throughout Europe.

Beta's move North from its 27-strong head office in Doncaster follows a successful bid to Regional Development Agency One NorthEast to work with companies in the region applying for European grants.

Rachel Fletcher, Beta's managing director, said: "We are delighted to be providing this new service on behalf of One NorthEast.

"To ensure the success of the service, we have opened a branch of Beta Technology in the North-East, which we foresee to being a permanent venture.

"We are dedicated to working closely with One NorthEast to help all companies in the region wanting to develop in a research capacity."

Jayne Sutcliffe, who will run the Middlesbrough office with Anthony Cundall, said: "We will be looking to offer the right help to organisations in the North-East who want to access funding from the Framework Programme. And due to the support from One NorthEast, our advice is free."