£50m Lancashire growth hub launched

Leading figures from Lancashire’s business community have joined Lancashire’s new look Business Growth Hub to launch a campaign to grow the county’s economy by £50m by 2018.

Lancashire’s three chambers of commerce, business groups including Growth Lancashire, the Federation of Small Businesses and Downtown Lancashire gave the campaign their backing.

Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “We've got ambitious plans to grow the Lancashire economy, by providing companies with advice and support that's tailored to their business.

"The first stage of Boost was extremely popular - supporting thousands of businesses, creating jobs and encouraging economic growth. Boost launched in 2013 and over 2,400 businesses in Lancashire accessed support through Boost up to 2015, helping create over 1,200 new jobs.

The Growth Hub also advises businesses on other available local, regional and national business support programmes as well connecting businesses to private sectors advisers such as accountants, banks and growth consultants.

£3.8m of the funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with the rest coming from Lancashire County Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Deal and private sector sources.

“It provides an access to a wealth of advice and information to help local businesses grow and develop. Boost is a great resource which helps businesses achieve results quickly.

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Mike Damms, added: “SMEs which have open minds and embrace business support demonstrably perform to a higher level. It is correspondingly important that the business support on offer is of the highest quality.

John Regan, president of the Chamber, North Lancashire, said: “The LEP is one of the more successful LEPs in the country and we are proud to be part of driving Lancashire’s business growth forward. Many of our businesses have already benefitted from BOOST support and the new Bay Gateway bypass road to Heysham should help attract a lot more businesses to the area, especially those wanting to expand trade links with Ireland and the Isle of Man.”

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