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Hundreds more firms supported by growth hub

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A Lancashire business support service aimed at growing the county’s economy has helped hundreds of businesses since receiving funding to launch a new phase of the programme at the start of the year.

Latest figures show that 300 firms have been put on the path to growth thanks to support from Boost Business Lancashire – the county’s business growth hub. In the first phase of the project Boost created more than 1,200 new jobs in the county and in January the project received £7.8m to continue offering high-quality support for Lancashire’s ambitious and growth-hungry companies until 2018.

£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. This phase of the 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: “The first phase of the Boost programme was extremely popular and successful with almost 3,000 business assisted and 1,200 jobs created in Lancashire, so I am pleased to see that the county’s businesses are again making the most of the business support opportunities available.

“Boost works closely with businesses to identify their growth requirements and help them achieve their goals. I’d encourage businesses to talk to Boost today and see what advice and support is available to them.” Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Edwin Booth added: ““The popularity of the Boost service is testament to the quality of the support available, and to the results that it helps the county’s businesses achieve. The advice on offer is instrumental in helping businesses grow, which ultimately will benefit the local economy and will create jobs.” The business support programmes being delivered under the Boost service include:

  • Growth Support Programme, provided by Winning Pitch and Enterprise4all: Practical advice, support and coaching for owners of high-growth start-ups and early-start businesses.
  • Growth Mentoring, provided by Community & Business Partners and Orvia: Support for SME business owners from experienced mentors in areas such as business planning, finance, sales, marketing and HR.
  • Innovation Clinic, provided by UCLan: Support in areas like product design, engineering, testing and prototype development to enable business owners to grow through innovation and development of new products and services.
  • Access to Finance, provided by North West Access to Finance: Free finance consultancy support to help Lancashire SME businesses identify and apply for suitable forms of finance.

Businesses can apply for Boost support by calling 0800 488 0057 or by filling in the 'contact us' form on the Boost website. Boost Business Lancashire has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF.

Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.


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