Money up for grabs for ‘ambitious’ firms

Andrew Dobson, head of regeneration and development at Lancaster City Council.
Andrew Dobson, head of regeneration and development at Lancaster City Council.

Employers in Lancaster with ambitions to expand are being urged to tap into millions of pounds of new Government support.

A total of £16.5m of Regional Growth Funding has been secured for Lancashire - cash which is designed specifically to help local companies start and grow.

The money has been allocated to Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, which is made up of the county council and district authorities.

Businesses can access grants of between £5,000 and £1 million and it is estimated the cash will help create more than 2,100 jobs across the county.

Andrew Dobson, chief officer in regeneration and planning at Lancaster City Council, encouraged firms in the city not to miss out.

He said: “Ambitious businesses in the Lancaster area that want to grow and take on more staff should take advantage of the grant support available through Regenerate.

“It could help them take on additional work and become more competitive at a faster rate.”

Grants will be available to high-growth businesses, such as employers in the fields of advanced manufacturing, aerospace, chemical, sustainable energy, digital and creative.

Cash will be handed out to projects in the hope it will secure firms’ future growth, including developing new products, new machinery and realising expansion plans and improvements to property.

The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board supported the latest Regional Growth Funding bid.

LEP board member and chairman of Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, Dennis Mendoros, said: “Regenerate is now able to provide support for all sizes of businesses across Lancashire with growth ambitions.

“This will provide a huge boost to our local economy and help create hundreds of jobs in growing industries.”

The three grant programmes created to deliver the funding are accelerating business growth, accelerating business growth plus and the ‘fuse fund’.

The accelerating business growth scheme has helped 25 small and medium-sized businesses since its launch last year.

As a result, 341 jobs will be created and another 34 businesses are currently going through the process.

The fuse fund is a £4m grant programme for new businesses in the county.

The Regional Growth Fund, set up in 2011, is a £3.2 billion pot supporting projects which use private sector investment to create jobs and boost growth.