Our Business Support Spotlight series highlights the wealth of support listed on Boost’s Support Hub and available to Lancashire businesses.
Today’s spotlight shines on the Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund.
How do you help Lancashire businesses?
The Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund’s purpose is to provide funding and impartial, expert advice to help manufacturing businesses in Lancashire create growth. We want to offer you a grant towards the cost of bringing in specialist expertise for eligible projects. The key objectives of the fund are to drive job creation, the introduction and launch of new products and to improve productivity.
Our expert advisors know the manufacturing and engineering sector; they’ll work with you to understand your growth ambitions, walk your site and get to grips with any challenges you face. They’ll help to scope out a project where input from a specialist consultant could unlock your growth ambitions, and they’ll help you find the right external provider to work with.
For eligible projects, we’ll provide a grant for 36% of the costs. We’re looking to support relatively significant projects with a value of up to £24,999, attracting a grant of up to £9,000.
Why do Lancashire businesses need your support?
To help them overcome the numerous and varied challenges they face currently and to remain competitive in an increasingly difficult trading environment.
How are you helping Lancashire businesses overcome the economic challenges of coronavirus?
We have many clients pivoting their business model in order to be able to meet the often hard-hitting effects of the pandemic. Many of the effects are highly nuanced and company specific, and we are able to provide some useful support – in the form of advice and a grant – to be able to mitigate these effects.
What are the other key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?
Brexit has provided a unique set of issues to many manufacturers: this may be continuity of supply-chains, conformity of products, inflated costs, and also new documentation challenges around export costs and documentation.
What’s the future for the Lancashire economy?
We believe that the future is bright, given the evident levels of innovation and resilience – but certain sectors have been badly hit recently, and businesses operating within those sectors have had to fundamentally rethink and re-plan their futures. Some of the changes that manufactures have made to help them react to recent difficulties will, ironically, likely see them doubly-strengthened when trading conditions eventually settle.
Nevertheless, the region’s manufacturers should retain their focus on high-added value operations, underpinned by innovative R&D, and utilising digital tech in meaningful ways to support the competitiveness of their offering.