An ambitious business support project aimed at growing Lancashire’s economy has helped put more than 2,000 businesses on the path to growth.
Latest figures show that businesses receiving support from Boost Business Lancashire, the county’s £7.2m growth hub, have already created, more than 400 new jobs with hundreds more roles planned to be created in the coming months.
Developed by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Lancashire County Council, Boost Business Lancashire was launched in June 2013 to provide free or part-funded business support in areas such as mentoring, leadership, access to finance, innovation and skills. By targeting support at ambitious, growth-hungry businesses and start-ups, it aims to grow the county’s economy by £20m and create at least 1,200 new jobs and safeguard 700 more.
With current funding for the service due to come to end in the summer, growing businesses are being urged to make the most of the support on offer before it’s too late. According to the latest figures, businesses supported by Boost have so far created 154 jobs in East Lancashire, 139 in Central and Western Lancashire, 65 in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre and 38 jobs in the North of the county.
County Councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council said: "Boost has proved to be a very successful scheme that is directly helping companies in Lancashire to grow - safeguarding existing jobs and creating new ones. "Our message to business is simple - there is a lot of help out there.
People should talk to Boost and see what advice and support could help their business to grow. "Boost brings together specialists from both the public and private sectors, who all have a proven track record of supporting growing businesses. "The companies who have used Boost constantly tell us how useful they have found it and what a positive impact it has made on what they do."
Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: "We are focussed on providing opportunities to maximise growth and job creation across the whole of the county. "Boost is the biggest programme of its kind for ambitious businesses in Lancashire. Our aim is to help companies with high growth potential, by giving them the support they need to realise their potential. "Since it was launched less than two years ago, businesses from across Lancashire have directly benefitted from Boost's support, which continues to act as a catalyst for growth in the county’s economy."
Boost Business Lancashire is being delivered through a partnership between Lancashire County Council, Community & Business Partners, Lancaster University, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Winning Pitch. £3.6m has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).