Fast-growing Lancashire firms create jobs and wealth following county council support

A unique support programme designed to help Lancashire’s scaleup businesses bounce back stronger from the coronavirus pandemic has created around 90 local jobs and returned millions of pounds to the Lancashire economy.

Two Zero Scaleup Resurgence, fully funded by Lancashire County Council and delivered by Lancashire-based business growth consultancy Cube Thinking, was designed to help high-growth small and medium-sized businesses return to full strength quickly after Covid-19.

21 Lancashire businesses took part in the 90-day support programme from July to October 2020. Results from feedback from the participants also indicates a 33 per cent combined growth in turnover for the 21 participating Lancashire businesses in the year since they took part, contributing a further £4.4m to the local economy.

Following the programme, the companies have created around 90 jobs and are planning for further strong, sustained growth.

Nathaniel Butters, director at ECO Surv, was one of the business leaders on the Scaleup Resurgence programme. ECO Surv specialises in supplying software solutions to the energy efficiency and renewables sector and the start of the pandemic Nathaniel took protective measures to ensure his business would weather the lockdowns and to prepare it for a changing market.

Since completing the programme, ECO Surv has nearly doubled its team across all departments to a total of 35 employees and redefined its brand and value proposition. The firm also recently relocated to new offices in Chorley as part of a strategic push for a 50 percent turnover increase.

Nathaniel said: “The Scaleup Resurgence programme offered a support network of like-minded businesspeople all in the same situation as me. We were able to bounce ideas off each other and validate our thoughts. By sharing our experiences, we all came out stronger and more confident.

“In addition to the peer support, Two Zero provided a ‘toolbox’ of support that enabled us to look strategically at our scaleup objectives.”

The Scaleup Resurgence programme was aimed specifically at firms looking to achieve sustained 20 per cent year-on-year growth and included quality coaching and mentoring, high-growth masterclasses featuring scaleup experts and peer-to-peer learning.

Matrix247 Communications Group was another firm to benefit from the programme. The firm has grown turnover from around £3m to £5.5m and is in the process of a recruitment drive, increasing its headcount from 22 to 40. Matrix247 also recently acquired Bolton-based Task Office Systems, specialists in Microsoft Office products and digital copiers with document management capabilities.

Through the acquisition Matrix247 can now capitalise from the surge in demand for technology and systems to enable ‘new ways of working’ which was triggered by lockdown.

Stephen Pritchard, CEO, Matrix247 said: “I’ve been running Matrix247 with my business partner for 30 years. Over that time we saw steady year on year organic growth. Although in later years always in single percentage figures.

“After engagement with Two Zero and developing aligned strategies across all areas of the business, we immediately saw our organisations profits and turnover grow into significant double-digit percentages. 

“Having now completed all of the modules, we have managed to maintain this level of scaleup which has resulted doubling our growth since our first engagement with Two Zero.

“Matrix247 now has even greater alignment on its strategy with sales and marketing and most importantly, a more mature and dynamic management team with a fantastic people culture within our organisation already attracting top talent.”

Pictured above left to right: Stephen Pritchard, CEO, Matrix247 with Jason Kingston (Cube Thinking), CC Aidy Riggott and John Woodruffe (Cube Thinking).

County councillor Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth, Lancashire County Council, commented on the success of the programme: “With such positive results from a programme designed to help Lancashire businesses with high growth plans to recover and get back on track after the pandemic, Two Zero’s Scaleup Resurgence programme demonstrates how important it is that we continue to support Lancashire businesses who in turn help to grow the local economy.

“The combined growth of the businesses that took part in the programme has resulted in many positive contributions to the local economy, be it through employment, commercial expansion and through export. We congratulate and thank all the businesses that took part and look forward to providing them with continued support.”