An award-winning Lancashire business support service that’s created over 1,200 new jobs in the county has received a multi-million pound boost that will see it continue until 2018.
Boost Business Lancashire – the county’s business growth hub – will be given £7.8m to continue offering high-quality support for Lancashire’s ambitious and growth-hungry companies. £3.8m of the funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with the rest coming from Lancashire County Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Deal and private sector sources.
The next phase of the Boost service aims to support a further 3,360 businesses in the county, creating 2,000 jobs and helping to establish 200 new businesses. Boost Business Lancashire has already delivered a number of business advice and support programmes via a partnership between Lancashire County Council, the LEP, Community and Business Partners, Lancaster University, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, UCLan and Winning Pitch, with £3.6million of funding provided by the ERDF. Boost has also helped businesses tap into funding and support available through other national government business growth initiatives.
Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Businesses from across the county have really embraced Boost and it’s been one of the most successful and engaging business support services we’ve ever had in Lancashire.
Boost has helped to create around 1,200 jobs and new economic activity valued in excess of £50m. “Securing the funding to extend Boost for another three years is great news for the county and will help to create more jobs and new economic activity.” The next phase of the Boost service is being finalised by Lancashire County Council and the LEP following a long-running consultation process called 'Building on Boost'.
Mike Blackburn, Chair of the LEP’s Business Support Programme Board, said: “The LEP has an ambitious, multi-million pound programme aimed at growing the economy and creating thousands of new jobs in Lancashire over the next decade.
Boost will continue to play a key role in helping us to achieve that, building on its excellent track record which has been based on listening to the needs of local business. “The LEP are therefore greatly looking forward to supporting the Boost initiative during this next exciting phase, and we will continue to work with both private and public sector partners to maximise the opportunities this new round of funding offers.”
The services to be provided under the second phase of Boost are being finalised, ahead of a formal launch later in the year. They will build on the free and part-funded support offered to businesses during phase one in areas such as leadership, mentoring, access to finance and innovation.
Phase one of Boost, which started in July 2013 and completed in November 2015, has already provided growth advice and support to over 2,800 local businesses across Lancashire, with many benefiting from tailored programmes of consultancy, grants or mentoring to support their growth.
Businesses can pre-register for phase two to take full advantage of the support available through Boost here: /grow