Look east for cash backing

Lancashire businesses looking for funds to grow and develop have been urged to look east for the cash they need.

1 Ian DixonChinese investors are keen to invest in UK businesses through a scheme set up by the government to encourage foreign investment.

Businesses in some parts of the North West, particularly Greater Manchester and Cheshire, are already taking advantage of the Tier 1 Entrepreneurial Visa Scheme and the Chinese appetite for UK investment.

However, many companies in Lancashire are unaware of the potential benefits it could unlock for them and as a result are missing out, says Ian Dixon, Team Leader with the Lancashire advice service Access to Finance.

He says the scheme is an ideal source of money for businesses looking to grow where secured funding is not available.

It also opens up the possibility of companies tapping into the talent, knowledge and experience that a Chinese investor can bring.

Dixon, who also works with the North West Business Angels platform, says that making Lancashire businesses aware of Chinese investor opportunities is high on the agenda in 2017.

The Business Angels initiative has been working for the past two years on developing a relationship with a UK based Chinese investment platform.

That has seen two groups of business owners travelling to China seeking potential investors. A third visit is planned in the spring and Dixon is keen to see Lancashire companies on the plane. He told Lancashire Business View: “Chinese investors are really keen on the North West and they have really switched onto the concept of the Northern Powerhouse.”