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£7.2m 'Boost' for business growth in Lancashire

29 July 2013

Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) has helped Lancashire’s largest-ever business support programme aimed at growth-hungry businesses get under way.

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

Boost aims to grow the county’s economy by £20m, create at least 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 (Regenerate), University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Winning Pitch.

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

Edwin Booth, chairman of the LEP, said: “Lancashire's ambitious and inspirational business leaders hold the key to growth in the county. We want to help them take control of business 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, giving them simple access to world-class advice, some of it funded.

“Through the LEP, we're adopting a private sector focus to the programme. Our primary target is to help ambitious, growth-hungry businesses looking to realise their potential.

“It’s an exciting project - the biggest of its kind for ambitious businesses in Lancashire - and one that will act as a catalyst for growth in the county’s economy.”

Boost will offer a range of services, some 100% funded, some part-funded, including: 

  • The Lancashire Forum, an exclusive peer-to-peer networking and development programme run by Lancaster University Management School
  • Growth Mentoring by Community & Business Partners, providing high growth mentoring support through successful business leaders who have already worked through similar challenges
  • Lancashire LEAP, led by Winning Pitch and Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, providing advice to pre-start and early-start businesses
  • UCLan’s Innovation Clinic, aimed at supporting advanced manufacturing and engineering companies develop new products and move into new markets
  • Winning Pitch’s GrowthAccelerator, an expanded version of the national GrowthAccelerator programme

In addition, Boost will offer support through a pre-selected group of private sector advisory firms that specialise in helping growing businesses.

County Councillor Jennifer Mein, Leader of Lancashire County Council, said:

"We want a strong and sustainable economy here in Lancashire. It's important that we have the right conditions for business growth.

"By bringing together expertise from the public and private sectors, Boost will help to bring about this growth and create new jobs in the county."

Andy Walker, Head of Business Growth and Innovation at Lancashire County Council’s economic development service, said: “We've taken the time to make sure that we have the right partners in place. We’ve brought together leading-edge specialists, all with a track record of supporting growing businesses."

For more information on Boost Business Lancashire and The Lancashire Forum please contact Laura Hounsome on 01524 510723.