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Business Advice and Funding

Are you a café, bar or restaurant with an outdoor dining area?

We are the South Ribble Dementia Action Alliance , a group of local individuals and organisations, our aim is to enhance the quality of life of people who live in the area, living with dementia (and their carers).

Business Events Domestic Support Fund launched

We have launched a new Domestic Support Fund to kick-start the return of business events in the UK.

The fund is available for not-for-profit organisations and charities hosting meetings, conferences and events in the UK from 21 June to 17 December 2021. Events from 100 to 500 delegates taking place in the UK are eligible to apply.

The financial support available is based on the number of delegates attending with up to £15,000 available for each event.

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

Grant funding available via new fund for eligible businesses in England.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched its new Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses in England.

Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity (subject to eligibility and availability).

The Resilience and Wellness is a fully funded project.

It is available to any small or medium sized business that has: 

  • Operated for at least one year 
  • At least five employees 
  • A turnover of at least £100,000 
  • An aspiration to improve 

Ideally, participants should also have: 

  • The potential to scale up 
  • The ability or potential to export 

Peer Networks, which has just been launched is a national programme for SME leaders that want to work with likeminded business leaders to address key challenges and reach their goals.

It will run from September 2021 to March 2022 and follows a successful pilot programme which ended in March this year and supported more than 320 Lancashire businesses. 

It will create a range of diverse peer-to-peer networking cohorts of 8-11 businesses in a range of sectors across Lancashire. Peer Networks is delivered through a series of high impact group sessions, with each cohort led by an expert facilitator.

Companies who are interested in taking part in the Resilience and Wellness Cohort (starting October 2021) should contact Lou on 07715 814833 (phone or WhatsApp) or email .

Free Fully Funded Business Support

Our Peer Networks Group will bring together tourism and hospitality business owners and managers to solve common challenges faced post-pandemic and aid business recovery and growth.

Hosted by an experienced facilitator, the group will not only encourage participants to learn from each other, but also enable them to gain insight from private sector experts and improve business performance.  Participants will also receive 3.5 hours one-to-one business coaching that will be designed to prioritise your individual business needs. 

The programme is completely free to eligible businesses and simply requires the commitment to attend all sessions. These will be held fortnightly from mid-October and most sessions will be virtual to help fit more readily around other commitments. A schedule of dates and times will be provided at the start of the programme. 

Places are strictly limited – please contact our Business Manager, Justina Ma to find out more and check your eligibility


Government has published guidance to assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on the Coronavirus Covid-19:

COVID-19 Government information for businesses

Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

Full details of the support schemes in South Ribble and the application forms are available on our website:

The council has created an advice page for businesses on re-opening safely.  This includes signage, sector specific guidance and health and safety advice. 

Coronavirus - South Ribble Borough Council

NHS Test and Trace 

NHS Test and Trace - Displaying NHS Test and Trace QR code is now mandatory for some businesses. Please see the South Ribble Business Support page for details:

Further guidance has been published by the government on the Job Retention Bonus originally announced by the government in July.  The new guidance contains information on what employers who have furloughed staff need to know to claim the bonus.

If you have any questions about Covid-19 business support, please email or complete the enquiry form below:

Boost Lancashire

Boost - Lancashire's Business Growth Hub offers advice and support programmes

Advice from Lancashire's Business Growth Hub

Find Support - Government has launched a new tool to help you find coronavirus financial support for your business. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants; this support finder will help you to see what support is available for you and your business: Government Covid-19 Business Support Finder

General Business Advice and Support

Creative England has established a new partnership with the British Business Bank, to unlock new and important investment opportunities for all subsectors of the UK's creative industries.

The new government-backed Start Up Loans for the creative industries will offer borrowing of up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum, repayable over 1-5 years. As well as providing access to early financing, the loans will also include 12 months of post-investment mentoring support for recipients.
Applicants are welcome from any subsector of the UK's creative industry; from young practitioners or experienced freelancers, to creative Start Ups less than two years old. 

Find out more about the new scheme here.

The Leading Lancashire Project are delivering fully funded,  Leadership and Management Development programmes.  All the courses will be delivered by UCLan and are available to SME’s in the South Ribble area.  To find out more and to book on any  of the courses please follow the link below:

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.

Last year, Google committed to helping one million small British businesses remain open by helping them be found online. On top of this, Google is offering 10,000 hours of free mentoring over the course of 12 months to UK small businesses and charities.

Request a mentor – for free – to help your business:  

⚙️ Build and optimise its website 
🌍 Become more discoverable on Google Search and Maps 
📝 Create a digital marketing strategy 
📱 Set up a social media strategy 
🛒 Sell products more effectively online 
📊 Understand Google Analytics 

The Department for International Trade 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 the Department for International Trade 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 has established a Key Account Management programme specifically for international businesses. We can now offer a bespoke service to support further growth and expansion, making Lancashire an even better choice as a UK base. More information for internationally-owned businesses

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.

The British Business Bank is a Government-owned, independently-run development bank that helps growing businesses find the right finance option to help them reach their next ambition. The British Bank Finance Hub helps businesses understand and discover the finance options that could enable them to grow.

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: 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.
  • Digital Productivity Training, 10 hours free training, worth £1,000, the HeadsUp! training programme is funded through Business Basics, a government initiative that supports projects encouraging SMEs to boost their productivity through ways of working and technology.
  • Brexit Hub, resources have been created on the Brexit Hub to help businesses understand and prepare for the potential impacts.
  • Please see Boost Business Lancashire Support Directory for further information. 

Calling all small businesses to lead the charge to net zero

 The Together for Our Planet ‘Business Climate Leaders’ campaign encourages small and micro businesses to commit to cutting their emissions in half by 2030 and to net zero by 2050 or sooner through the new UK Business Climate Hub (

Small businesses can use the hub to find practical tools, resources and advice to understand their emissions and develop a plan to tackle them, as well as providing ideas for steps they can take. You can help support the campaign by sharing information from the stakeholder toolkit with the SMEs you work with.

Propel 2 Grow, an ERDF / Government Funded Business Support programme, has been designed to assist Lancashire businesses in achieving their growth plans. Propel 2 Grow consists of two phases : phase one - Discovery & Diagnostic – which is delivered at no charge, followed by phase two, Intensive Sector Specific Support, which provides insight, consultancy into an area of your business which will enable you to unlock your growth potential. Please contact 01282 412105 or email:

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:

Some of our specialist businesses offer advice. Bespoke Digital Agency recently published an article on improving your website conversion rate and offers Digital Accelerator workshops. 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.

For customer facing businesses, Visit Britain offers a digital marketing toolkit  - helping you to build connections with existing and potential customers, to raise your profile and use analytics to improve your content. The Visit Britain Digital Marketing Toolkit  takes you through the basics of marketing, advertising and online booking, so you can make sure your digital marketing counts.

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 (see the Digital First information on our downloads page.) and the Investment Readiness Programme at UCLan offers a structured programme of guidance for high growth businesses in Lancashire (please contact 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 or

Transmission, has been launched for Lancashire-based advanced manufacturing, engineering digital and creative SME businesses. Please see our downloads page for the 'Collaboratory' events.

Project MaCaW is an academic/industry collaboration designed to assist Lancashire SMEs to overcome the challenges and barriers in moving towards a low carbon economic model. This project aims to engage Lancashire SMEs in implementing low energy practices and processes to reduce their carbon burden, as well as making cost savings to their organisation. Please see the MaCaW webpages for details.

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 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:

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:

South Ribble Borough Council
Civic Centre, West Paddock
Leyland, Lancashire PR25 1DH
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