New fund will help up and coming firms to grow

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Firms in the Lancaster district are being invited to apply for support from the county’s largest ever business growth programme.

Boost Business Lancashire (Boost) is the name for the new £7.2m Lancashire Business Growth Hub, which has been developed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Boost aims to grow the county’s economy by £20m, create 1,200 new jobs and safeguard 700 more by 2015.

The service will be delivered through a partnership between Lancashire County Council, Community & Business Partners, Lancaster University, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, the University of Central Lancashire and Winning Pitch.

£3.6m of funding has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund.

LEP chairman, Edwin Booth, said: “Lancashire’s ambitious and inspirational business leaders hold the key to growth. We want to help them take control of growth by bringing together firms with high growth potential and giving them the tools needed to realise their ambition.

“Whether a business has specific growth plans or not, the business support landscape for growing businesses is complex and quite often business owners and directors don’t know where to turn.

“We’re aiming to provide a unique service that allows decision makers to start the growth conversation and access world-class advice.

Boost will offer a range of services, some 100% funded, including growth mentoring, a peer-to-peer networking and development programme run by Lancaster University and advice tailored towards pre-start and early start businesses and manufacturing and engineering companies looking to develop new products and find new markets.

Businessesinterested in signing up can visit www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk or call 0800 488 0057.