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Lancashire businesses to be boosted by new LUMS programme

SME workshop at Lancaster University Management School

10 October 2013

A new £190,000 business development programme aiming to boost 80 Lancashire companies has been launched this week by Lancaster University Management School.

Lancashire Forum aims to provide growth for 80 SMEs around the county by creating a supportive peer network, as well as running a masterclass programme with high-profile inspirational speakers – including round-the-world sailor Pete Goss, Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Kirsty Henshaw, Green & Black’s chocolate co-founder Jo Fairley, and Brompton Bicycle Ltd managing director Will Butler-Adams.

The programme, which forms part of Boost Business Lancashire, provides a space for owner-managers of Lancashire SMEs to step away from their businesses and develop themselves in a supportive environment with help from peers as well as experts from Lancaster University Management School.

Additional expertise will be brought in to provide help with finance and getting access to grants. Participating companies will also discover how they can tap into additional resources, such as graduate consultants and internships.

Kim Ashby, Lancaster University Management School programme manager for Lancashire Forum, said: “This is a special business development programme we have created, which is specifically aimed at supporting growth in some of the county’s most forward-thinking SMEs.

“For growing businesses, having access to a network of like-minded businesses and experts who know about the most recent opportunities available to support growth can be priceless. This is what the Lancashire Forum aims to provide.

“The Lancashire Forum programme should prove to be of significant benefit to the companies enrolled, and create wider growth and jobs in Lancashire’s economy.”

The cost of the Lancashire Forum programme, which will work with 80 companies in three cohorts over two years, has been funded through the European Regional Development Fund via Boost Business Lancashire.

Boost Business Lancashire (Boost) is the £7.2million Lancashire Business Growth Hub led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). The aim of Boost is to grow the county’s economy by £20m and create at least 1,200 new jobs and safeguard 700 more by 2015.

For more information about Lancashire Forum please contact Kim Ashby on 01524 510713 or email Kim or Ian Boydon in the Lancaster University press office.