Access to Finance, under new management, appoints new advisers

By Tim Aldred

23 Feb 2024

Access To Finance With LCC

Access to Finance, a service which helps Lancashire businesses secure funds for growth, will now be delivered by Lancashire County Council.

The fully-funded service was previously delivered by national business support organisation the Growth Company and will now be managed directly by Lancashire County Council through Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub as part of its £3.9m support programme.

The programme has also welcomed two new advisers: Peter Capper, a business finance adviser who has over 50 years’ experience at organisations including Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and FW Capital, and Amanda Farrington, who has 13 years of experience advising businesses in roles at Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC.

Both will advise eligible Lancashire businesses how to achieve their potential by reviewing their current finance facilities, understanding the best options and working with them to secure growth finance. 

The service’s team of four finance specialists also includes lead adviser Mark Gibbons and adviser Iain Duncan.

In addition to one-to-one support with eligible businesses, the refreshed service will see the team manage a new investment readiness programme, work directly with debt and equity funders to help them better understand the Lancashire economy and also develop new services including a Lancashire angels network.

County coun Carole Haythornthwaite, lead member for economic development and environment, Lancashire County Council, said: "The Access to Finance service being managed directly by Lancashire County Council as part of Boost will help us better understand the finance needs of our county’s businesses and be more flexible to align our support accordingly. This will help our businesses to grow, create Lancashire jobs and increase prosperity across the county.”

From September 1 2023, Boost has been funded by Lancashire County Council, Department for Business & Trade (DBT), and UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) allocations from ten Lancashire local authorities. Previously the service was funded by Lancashire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Mark Gibbons, Access to Finance - lead adviser, Lancashire County Council said: “Since 2015, Access to Finance has helped Lancashire businesses secure over £35m funding and create more than 800 jobs.

“Our new funding and delivery structure allows us greater flexibility to give businesses who want to innovate, grow their team and expand internationally by giving the right type and amount of support to suit their needs.

“As part of the transition to Lancashire County Council, we have invested in our team and now have four experienced finance advisers. Between them they have worked in a range of banking and commercial finance roles and have the knowledge to support Lancashire businesses whatever their finance requirements.”

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