Boost growth fund’s £7.8m for extension

Coun Jennifer Mein, far right, with Phil Bevan, Kerry Lunt, Michael Forshaw and Andy Walker of Boost in a photograph taken when Boost helped its 1,000th buisness

Coun Jennifer Mein, far right, with Phil Bevan, Kerry Lunt, Michael Forshaw and Andy Walker of Boost in a photograph taken when Boost helped its 1,000th buisness

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An award-winning Lancashire business support service has received a multi-million pound boost that will see it continue until 2018.

Boost Business Lancashire – which has created more than 1,200 new jobs in the county – will be given £7.8m to continue offering high-quality support for Lancashire’s ambitious and growth-hungry companies.

It said today that £3.8m of the funding will come from the European Regional Development Fund, with the rest coming from Lancashire County Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal and private sector sources.

The next phase of the Boost service aims to support a further 3,360 businesses in the county, creating 2,000 jobs and helping to establish 200 new businesses.

Boost Business Lancashire has delivered a number of business advice and support programmes via a partnership between LCC, the LEP, Community and Business Partners, Lancaster University, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, UCLan and Winning Pitch, with £3.6m of funding provided by the ERDF. Boost has also helped businesses tap into funding and support through other government growth initiatives.

Coun Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Businesses from across the county have really embraced Boost and it’s been one of the most successful and engaging business support services we’ve ever had in Lancashire.

“Boost has helped to create around 1,200 jobs and new economic activity valued in excess of £50m.

“Securing the funding to extend Boost for another three years is great news for the county and will help to create more jobs and new economic activity.”

The next phase of the Boost service is being finalised by Lancashire County Council and the LEP following a long-running consultation process called ‘Building on Boost’.

Mike Blackburn, chairman of the LEP’s Business Support Programme Board, said: “The LEP has an ambitious, multi-million pound programme aimed at growing the economy and creating thousands of new jobs in Lancashire over the next decade.

“Boost will continue to play a key role in helping us to achieve that.”

Businesses can pre-register for phase two by filling in the ‘contact us’ form at www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk.