More than 40 jobs are being created in Blackpool by the multi-million pound expansion of a business support organisation.
The Federation of Small Business has expanded at its Squires Gate base after taking over neighbouring building, Lancaster House
The creation of the new jobs, part of a £2m project, is being fuelled by the increase in new members to the FSB, which was founded on the Fylde coast and retains its headquarters here a fact which means it contributes £1m to the local economy.
The new building will house the team which works with member businesses and aims to recruit new customers.
It features a new call centre that will serve the 200,000-strong membership of the organisation and help to drive up membership towards its aim of having half a million members by 2020.
Two young people celebrating the start of new careers thanks to the new building are Melissa Barton and Lewis Matthias who are among 40 new members of staff which could rise further as the number of members rises.
Melissa, from Highfield, said: “This job is great, with me being so local.
“To have the opportunity to work at such a big businesses organisation here in Blackpool is fantastic.
“Long term, my plan is to set up my own business, so working here will give me the chance to learn as much as possible to help with my plans for the future.”
Lewis added: “I have previously worked for an armed forces charity, Afghan Heroes.
“Working for the FSB is quite a change but provides a big challenge in its own way.
“I am also looking forward to seeing where the Federation of Small Businesses leads me in future life.”