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Business Advice and Funding

In addition to the support available from the Council, there are dedicated business support programmes available to companies in South Ribble.

HM Government provides support, advice and inspiration for growing your business through Business is Great. The GOV.UK website also provides support and information for all businesses including details of suppliers, advice and funding sources.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice. To learn how UKTI can help your businesses develop and expand into new markets, please follow the link or contact them on +44 (0)20 7215 5000.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) provides commercially focussed finance through Microfinance, Debt and Equity Finance funds. NPIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the North West, Yorkshire, the Humber and Tees Valley.  NPIF provides over £400m of investment to boost business growth in the North of England. Please see the NPIF website for details.

Funding Circle is an online marketplace, which allows savers to lend money directly to small and medium sized businesses. Funding Circle directly connects people and organisations who want to lend, with vetted, established businesses who want to borrow.

NW Access to Finance service offers help from a team of impartial, experienced financial advisors to find the right funding for your business. The service, which is partially funded by ERDF, is available free of charge to eligible businesses. Please see Access to Finance for more information.

Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund is a new service for Lancashire manufacturers including specialised manufacturing and food & drink. It offers support for projects which create new jobs and develop new products. Please contact Nigel Goodrich (Mobile: 07734 776559, Email: nigel.goodrich@businessgrowthhub.com) for details.

Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub. It is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The role of Boost is to help growth-hungry Lancashire businesses realise their potential. 

The business support programmes being delivered under the Boost service include: 

  • Growth Support Programme, provided by Winning Pitch and Enterprise4all: Practical advice, support and coaching for owners of high-growth start-ups and early-start businesses.
  • Growth Mentoring, provided by Community & Business Partners and Orvia: Support for SME business owners from experienced mentors in areas such as business planning, finance, sales, marketing and HR.
  • Please see Boost Business Lancashire Support Directory for further information. 

Rosebud funding can support growing businesses in the following high growth business sectors: Advanced manufacturing; Aerospace; Finance and professional; Creative and digital; Energy and environment; and Health. Businesses should be based in Lancashire or relocating here. Rosebud Micro provides finance from £10,000 to £49,000. While Rosebud Business Finance provides funding from £50,000, along with a package of customised business support and advice.

Enterprise Ventures SME Loans provide funding to help small firms in North and West Lancashire to fuel growth. These funds are not subject to the State Aid or sector constraints.  The Loans will be targeted at established and ambitious SMEs, which have been trading for at least three years and have achieved £100,000 operating profit or more from turnover of £1million plus, or are anticipating performance of this order. For more information call 01772 270570 or email: smeloans@evgroup.uk.com

Some of our specialist businesses offer advice. Bespoke Digital Agency recently published an article on improving your website conversion rate. Please see our downloads page or come along to one of the local business networks to meet local specialists.
 
Further specialist support is available for businesses in South Ribble.

Creative Lancashire - provided by Lancashire County Developments Limited, Creative Lancashire supports digital and creative businesses with a range of sector-specific specialist business development and investment advice. Tel: 01772 536648

The Visit England Business Advice Hub offers information and support on starting-up, marketing, quality assessments and tourism planning guidance. Please visit the Business Advice Hub to find out more.

Improve your business by accessing innovation support. Currently free to eligible businesses in Lancashire through Innovation Talks.

The LEADER Rural Development Fund aims to support business development in rural areas. The Lancashire LEADER programme is now open and the first round of funding is aimed at Rural Enterprise and Farming Businesses with the focus on growth and job creation. For general information and details of registering a project please email: ruralfunding@lancashire.gov.uk or visit the LEADER Rural Development Fund website

Businesses can utilise the knowledge of the University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan’s) internationally recognised research centres, the expertise of staff, students and graduates, and their facilities. Northern Lights offers business support, training and incubation facilities, based in the Media Factory Building at the University of Central Lancashire. UCLan Digital First has a long track record of working with SMEs, helping them to promote and grow their businesses using digital technologies. Please see the Digital First information on our downloads page. The Investment Readiness Programme at UCLan offers a structured programme of guidance for high growth businesses in Lancashire, please contact investmentreadiness@uclan.ac.uk or call 01772 895656 for details. A new innovative leadership and business growth programme has been launched called the Lancashire Forum Creative offered by the Centre for SME Development. The programme is fully funded for eligible Lancashire-based SMEs from the creative and digital sector by the European Regional Development Agency (ERDF). Further information on the programme is available from Elena Vasilieva at EVasilieva@uclan.ac.uk or LancashireForum@uclan.ac.uk.

Lancaster University Management School is running the Lancashire Forum for directors and managers of Lancashire-based SMEs with real growth ambition. Over six months, you will learn the business development skills and tools needed to drive your business forward, form a trusted network of like-minded SMEs and gain access to talks from inspirational experts.

Social enterprises can apply for funding through the Reach Fund and First Ark Social Investment. Please see their webpages and our downloads page for details.

The Digital Marketing Roadshow takes place in Preston on Wednesday, 8th November 2017 from 9:30 to 15:00. Please visit the website to book.

The Technology Strategy Board offers support and funding to help businesses develop new products and services. Innovate UK support includes access to funding; finding partners for collaboration; innovation advice; and access to testing for new technologies. Tel: 01793 442700 or email: support@innovateuk.gov.uk

Nesta is an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring ideas to life. Nesta supports ideas with activities ranging from early stage investment to in-depth research and practical programmes. Tel: 020 7438 2500 or email: information@nesta.org.uk