£7.2m Boost for business growth in Lancashire
Lancashire’s largest ever business support programme aimed at growth-hungry businesses is now under way.Boost Business Lancashire is the name for the new £7.2m Lancashire Business Growth Hub, which has been developed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
Boost aims to grow the county’s economy by £20m, create at least 1,200 new jobs and safeguard 700 more by 2015.Edwin Booth, chairman of the LEP, said: “Lancashire's ambitious and inspirational business leaders hold the key to growth in the county. We want to help them take control of business growth by bringing together firms with high growth potential and giving them the tools needed to realise their ambition.
“Whether a business has specific growth plans or not, the business support landscape for growing businesses is complex and quite often business owners and directors don’t know where to turn.“We’re aiming to provide a unique service that allows decision makers to start the growth conversation, giving them simple access to world-class advice, some of it funded. Through the LEP, we're adopting a private sector focus to the programme. Our primary target is to help ambitious, growth-hungry businesses looking to realise their potential.
“It’s an exciting project - the biggest of its kind for ambitious businesses in Lancashire - and one that will act as a catalyst for growth in the county’s economy.”Boost will offer a range of services, some 100% funded, 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 businesses.
- UCLan’s Innovation Clinic, aimed at advanced manufacturing and engineering companies.
- Winning Pitch’s GrowthAccelerator; an expanded version of the national GrowthAccelerator programme.
The service will be delivered through a partnership between Lancashire County Council, Community & Business Partners, Lancaster University, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, University of Central Lancashire and Winning Pitch. £3.6m of funding has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund.Andy Walker, head of business growth and innovation at Lancashire County Council’s economic development service, said: “We have a wonderful commercial pedigree in Lancashire and this programme can offer something for any ambitious company from areas such as leadership development, finance, innovation or business development.” Businesses looking to sign up to the programme can do so through a new website www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk or call 0800 488 0057.