Lancashire’s business growth hub, Boost, has surpassed another major milestone after helping 2,888 businesses in the county to access business support.
Latest figures show Boost has also led to the creation of an estimated 291 new jobs since January 2016 when the growth hub secured £7.8m of funding to run for a further three years.
In that time 119 new businesses have been established and £3.5m of new economic activity has been generated.
Boost is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
A wide range of free and part-funded business support is available through Boost in areas including mentoring, access to finance, innovation, skills and training.
County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: “We’re approaching the half way point of the Boost funding period and these latest figures add up to a very positive mid-term report for the business growth hub.
“There have been some tremendous success stories of existing businesses and start-ups launching new products and services and creating new jobs. There’s no doubt that Boost has led to increased economic activity in the county.
“The Cabinet recently committed to providing £1m in match funding to help us to attract funding and continue Boost to the end of December 2021. We’ve already seen a lot of success from Boost and we’re determined to continue this important work.”
Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Edwin Booth, said: “In 2016, the LEP committed £3.8m funding to Boost for three years because supporting local businesses to grow and succeed is a key part of the LEP’s ambitious, strategic plan to drive economic growth in Lancashire over the next decade.
“It is evident that the business growth hub works to provide the kind of expert advice and support that our local businesses need and these figures show the progress and impact that this service is having in terms of new start-ups, business growth and job creation.”
As well as attracting thousands of businesses looking for tailored support, over one hundred firms have joined Boost & Co, a collective of private sector providers who promote Boost to their clients and contacts.
Andrew Leeming, Boost programme manager at Lancashire County Council, said: “We’ve had law firms, accountancy firms, banks, IT providers, marketing companies and training providers, to name just a few, signing up to promote Boost to their clients.
“This is truly an example of the public and private sector working together for the good of the county. Boost is once again proving to be an influential player in growing Lancashire.”
The latest phase of the service aims to support 3,360 businesses in the county, creating 2,000 jobs and helping to establish 200 new businesses.
A first phase of Boost between July 2013 and July 2015 provided support to over 2,800 businesses across Lancashire creating over 1,200 jobs.