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Time running out to ‘Boost’ your business

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Ambitious Lancashire businesses are being urged to take advantage of a leading business support service before the £7.2m programme comes to an end next year. Boost Business Lancashire, the county’s business growth hub, has so far supported 1,350 ambitious Lancashire businesses providing help in areas such as mentoring, leadership, access to finance, skills and innovation.

The project, which was launched in June 2013, is the largest ever Lancashire business support programme for high-growth businesses and those with high-growth potential. It aims to boost Lancashire’s economy by £20m, create at least 1,200 new jobs and safeguard 700 more by 2015.

Andy Walker, head of business growth and innovation for Lancashire County Council, said: “Boost Business Lancashire is providing the region’s growth-hungry businesses with high-quality support from genuine business experts, equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to realise their growth aspirations.

“Funding for the programme has been secured to take us up to summer 2015, but businesses need to be signed up to receive support well in advance of the end of the programme to ensure the support is delivered in time.

 I would urge all Lancashire businesses that are serious about growing to use Boost before it’s too late.” 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).

Boost offers a range of services, most of them free and some part-funded, including:

  • Growth Mentoring by Community & Business Partners; providing high-growth mentoring support through successful business leaders who have already worked through similar challenges.
  • Lancashire Forum; an exclusive leadership peer-to-peer networking and development programme run by Lancaster University.
  • Lancashire LEAP; led by Winning Pitch and Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, providing advice to pre-start and early start (1-3 year-old) businesses.
  • UCLan’s Innovation Clinic; aimed at supporting advanced manufacturing and engineering companies to develop new products and move into new markets.
  • Growth Sectors Support; specialist in-depth, independent, practical support to help businesses in the creative and digital, environmental, advanced manufacturing, aerospace and finance sectors; to accelerate business growth.
  • Growth Skills Assist; providing free training to equip leadership teams with the skills required to achieve their growth goals.
  • GrowthAccelerator; delivered in Lancashire by Winning Pitch; the national programme of coaching and advice for high-growth businesses.
  • Access to Finance; helping business owners to identify and access the right type of funding to deliver their growth aspirations.
  • Growth Grants; non-repayable grants of between £5,000 and £1m to help businesses grow, delivered by Regenerate Pennine Lancashire.

Businesses can sign up to the programme through the website www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk or call 0800 488 0057.

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