Rosebud Finance, the finance package which helps Lancashire firms to grow, is celebrating a record period of job creation as it marks its 30th anniversary.
Rosebud has helped to create more than 220 jobs since the start of the year – more than any other six-month period since it was established in June 1986. The figure includes over 200 jobs at Hinduja Global Solutions’ Preston call centre, after Rosebud provided finance for the company’s expansion. Funding from Rosebud – which includes both loans and equity finance - has also created over 20 jobs at other Lancashire companies during the first half of the year.
They include the Preston-based software developer Valuechain.com, the Burnley-based 3D print firm FDM Digital Solutions, and the Colne LED manufacturer CFE Lighting. Rosebud is a finance package supporting Lancashire firms to grow and expand their business. It is managed by Enterprise Ventures on behalf of Lancashire County Developments Ltd (LCDL) - the county council's economic development company.
The origins of Rosebud go back to one of the toughest economic periods in Lancashire’s history. Back in 1986, the county was still reeling from the effects of the early 80s recession, when 31,000 jobs were lost and manufacturing output fell by 14%. It was also suffering from the continuing decline of traditional industries. By October 1986, unemployment was running at 13.3% - more than double the rate of today.
Rosebud was initially set up to provide smaller sums of £1,000 to £10,000 to encourage entrepreneurship, although the amounts available have increased over the years. Lancashire Enterprises Ltd (LEL), the county council’s former economic development company, launched Rosebud. Enterprise Ventures, which was once a part of LEL, continues to manage Rosebud Finance on behalf of the county council.
Paul Taberner of Enterprise Ventures said: “Rosebud was set up 30 years ago with the mission to create jobs and continues to do so today, as the last six months have shown. While initially it provided very small sums, over the years it has played a more strategic role in economic growth, providing larger amounts to companies of all sizes. It is now one of the longest established and most successful funds of its type in the UK.”
County Councillor Niki Penney, chair of LCDL, said: "From the start of Rosebud thirty years ago to the current day, we've continued to change and adapt to meet the needs of businesses here in Lancashire. It's especially clear that we're providing the right support for businesses when they return to us to once again to support their growth plans, as we've seen with some of our companies.
"We're proud of Rosebud's history of support and backing for Lancashire's business. Their growth directly creates jobs here in the county and boosts our economy."