Blackpool IT firm in £55,000 investment

Blackpool Councillor 'Coun Mark Smith
Blackpool Councillor 'Coun Mark Smith
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A Blackpool IT firm is set for expansion and to create five jobs after winning a grant from the Lancashire Business Growth Fund.

Challenger Technology, based at Faraday Way, has been awarded a business grant of £11,040 towards their total project investment of £55,204 by the fund.

It is a supplier of IT outsourcing to the UK holiday park sector, implementing and managing the IT infrastructure, predominantly in the leisure industry.

Established for more than 10 years and with 30 staff, Challenger Technology is a small group of companies made up of Gconnect Technology, Infinium IT, its division Clarity Wireless and currently has a turnover of £3m.

Paul Billington, a director at Challenger Technology which has an in-house team of 20 staff offering a 24/7 helpdesk service as well as operating a team of countrywide field engineers, said the help from the Lancashire Business Growth Fund grant will enable the upgrade of internal systems by linking sales, marketing and accounting departments together for added efficiency across the group, creating five jobs in Blackpool.

Paul said they are already into the first year of a five-year plan and are on target to have a 10 million turnover by 2020 and a staff workforce of 120.

As well as working with three of the top five park operators, Infinium IT and Clarity Wireless have also provided services to CarFest for the past three years, an annual motoring festival founded by the radio presenter Chris Evans which raises funds for Children in Need.

Paul said “Any business thinking of expanding should apply to the growth fund.

“It’s relatively simple to do and can really help.”

Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for business and economic development echoed the calls for businesses to apply.

“Every business owner knows that you’ll explore every avenue for grants and funding that you might be entitled to.

“The Lancashire Business Growth Fund is a great opportunity for anybody looking to expand their company in the year ahead and I’d encourage everybody to find out more about it.”

The Lancashire Business growth Fund offers capital investment grants and international trade support to businesses across the county.

The programme is intended to create 600 new jobs and safeguard 200.

Its key aim is to accelerate the creation of sustainable jobs by encouraging companies to bring forward growth projects on a bigger scale with a larger impact at a time when those jobs are most needed.

Businesses bidding for grants from the scheme can claim up to 20 per cent of the total project costs .