Funding Helps Steve’s Business Go From Strength to Strength As He Urges Others to Apply

Business & Invest | Published on: 24th June 2024

A Teesside company CEO has urged other firms to seek out grant support after gaining nationwide business less than two years after setting up.

Thornaby’s own Steve Southern founded Southern Asset Management with colleagues in July 2022 to carry out structural testing and asset management of lighting columns and other structures.

With a core of loyal staff at hand, Steve’s Stockton-based company has gone from strength to strength winning work with North & Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent, London Stansted Airport, Teesside Airport and many more prestigious companies.

Now Steve, 47, has encouraged others to seek out the support and range of grants on offer following a successful Tees Valley Support Showcase earlier this month.

Match funding from the TVCA, TWI and support from Teesside University helped Steve’s firm buy specialist equipment, IT software and find new employees.

He said: “We received a lot of matched funding – we’ve bought all our machinery using TVCA funds and all our unique JCBs come through that.

“Between the University, TWI, Stockton Council and TVCA they’ve got us to where we need to be.”

The company was initially based in the Tees Valley Business Centre before it outgrew the premises and moved out to Mandale Wharf, on the banks of the River Tees, in December.

Now there are 12 staff with another machine in the company’s sights.

Steve added: “It’s stressful but good – it’s having the right people around you. The core management team and the core lads on the ground are the ones you want.”

The company is now seeking the digitisation funding with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to develop its website.

Steve said the TVCA alongside teams at the University and Council helped him navigate access to funding.

He added: “They helped me through the process – if I didn’t have their support, I would have struggled. It was like a minefield – and they really helped with documentation and advice.”

The Combined Authority also helped the firm through a tender process for a huge five-year contract with Leicestershire County Council – which has led to more funding and helped Southern Asset Management expand and hire new employees.

The firm is now working with the Digital Transformation and Supply Chain programmes at the Combined Authority.

Matthew Ord, Deputy Chair of the Tees Valley Business Board, said: “We’re always looking to make it as simple as possible for our growing businesses to access the help and support they need – and it’s great to hear how Steve’s company is receiving the focussed funding and expertise it needs to ensure it continues its momentum.

“We’d continue to urge all our businesses, large and small, to get in touch to see the range of help we can all offer, as well as helping us continue to improve how we engage with you.”

For more information on the support available to businesses, go to: Business Support – Business (

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