Lancashire's business growth hub unveils service providers

Boost Business Lancashire, the county’s business growth hub, has named three of the providers that will deliver support to the county’s growth-hungry businesses as the second phase of the award-winning service gets underway.

Edwin Booth

£7.8m of funding was announced earlier this year to enable the Boost programme, which has already created over 1,200 new jobs in the county and helped generate an additional £50m of economic activity, to run until 2018.

Boost is led by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Lancashire County Council. Following a tender process for stage two of Boost, Community & Business Partners, Winning Pitch, and UCLan, have been named as its first service providers.

Further growth services and providers will be announced in the coming weeks.

The business support programmes being delivered under the Boost service include:
  • Growth Support, provided by Winning Pitch and Enterprise4all: Practical advice, support and coaching for owners of high-growth start-ups and early-start businesses
  • Growth Mentoring, provided by Community & Business Partners and Orvia: Support for SME business owners from experienced mentors in areas such as business planning, finance, sales, marketing and HR
  • Innovation Clinic, provided by UCLan: Support in areas like product design, engineering, testing and prototype development to enable business owners to grow through innovation and new products and services
Edwin Booth, chair of the LEP, said: “As the county’s business growth hub, Boost plays a major role in our work within the SME sector, which is the lifeblood of the county’s economy. In addition to the positive news that we have secured additional funding for phase two of the programme, the LEP welcomes this announcement regarding Boost’s new service providers to help drive growth and prosperity for Lancashire businesses.”

Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "The first phase of Boost helped to create around 1,200 jobs and new economic activity valued in excess of £50m. It’s been one of the most successful and engaging business support services we’ve ever had in Lancashire.

"We're proud to announce the providers for phase two, who will work closely with businesses to identify their growth requirements and work with them on it. Boost's successful formula will once again bring together specialists from both the public and private sectors, who all have a proven track record of supporting growing businesses.

"Our message to business is simple - there is a lot of help out there. People should talk to Boost and see what advice and support could help their business to grow."

Andy Walker, Lancashire County Council’s Head of Business Growth who manages the Boost programme, said “Boost has already been very successful and phase two will allow us to develop a number of new services, including business mentoring and more face to face support, in addition to working with new partners such as those announced today.

“Boost will also continue to offer resources and guidance designed to stimulate growth, nurture enterprise and encourage local businesses to scale-up which will help make a real difference to the bottom line for Lancashire companies and the county’s wider economy.”

£3.8m of the funding for the second phase of Boost 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.

The service aims to support a further 3,360 businesses in the county, creating 2,000 jobs and helping to establish 200 new businesses.

Phase one of Boost, which started in July 2013 and completed in November 2015, has already provided growth advice and support to over 2,400 local businesses across Lancashire, with many benefiting from tailored programmes of consultancy, grants or mentoring to support their growth. Businesses can register to take full advantage of the support available through Boost by filling in the 'contact us' form on the Boost website - www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk.