Lancashire firms planning for job creation

Almost nine out of 10 Lancashire businesses (86 per cent) are planning to create new jobs in 2015 compared to 68 per cent which had the same intention last year, according to a survey conducted by Boost Business Lancashire.

The Lancashire Growth Forecast 2015 has found that half of businesses (50 per cent) are also planning significant investment in developing a product or service this year, up from 26% in 2014.

More than half (55 per cent) of businesses surveyed said they were forecasting a turnover increase of greater than 20 per cent in 2015. That compares with 24 per cent of businesses who were forecasting the same level of growth in the 2014 survey.

Boost is the £7.2m Lancashire Business Growth Hub delivered by Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

Andy Walker, head of business growth innovation at Lancashire County Council, said: “As the economy continues to bounce back, it’s great to hear that more Lancashire businesses are achieving growth and have strong intentions to recruit new staff.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard in recent years to ensure that our business support offer is focused on the needs of those growing businesses that will create jobs in the region, so we’re very encouraged by the 70 per cent of people who responded and said they're likely to access public sector business support in 2015.

“The funding for Boost Business Lancashire is due to run out in the summer, so I would urge any growing business thinking about applying for support from Boost to do it as soon as possible.”

The Lancashire Growth Forecast 2015 also revealed that the three biggest barriers to growth for Lancashire businesses in 2015 are raising finance (50 per cent), a shortage of skills in the workforce (42 per cent) and compliance with legislation (27 per cent). People responding to the survey said the three biggest opportunities to achieve growth in 2015 are improving sales and marketing (75 per cent), developing new products (48 per cent) and attracting and retaining talented staff (39 per cent).