An extra £6million has been secured to help Preston and Lancashire firms during the next three years.Advertisement
Boost Business Lancashire has landed the funding to help high growth businesses and start-ups.
£3.65m of the money comes from the European Regional Development Fund, with the rest from Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal.
Businesses across the city have benefited from Boost with the organisation saying it has created 2,200 new jobs in Lancashire and Preston.
Chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Edwin Booth said: “The LEP has always recognised that ambitious and innovative SMEs are the lifeblood of Lancashire’s thriving business community and the Boost programme continues to support them as they strive for growth.
“With challenges such as Brexit, and increasing competition from other UK regions and globally, small companies in particular can benefit massively from tapping into Boost’s resources.
“I would therefore encourage anyone interested in growing their business to take full advantage of the services Boost has to offer to help both their own bottom line and the whole of the Lancashire economy.”
Boost programme manager Andrew Leeming said: “It’s wonderful news. We’ve been listening to businesses across the region to evolve the programmes and to understand what kind of support they need going forward.
“It’s clear from the volume of Boost success stories we’ve had, that the business community truly benefits from our support. Securing this funding for is a vote of confidence for the region. We can’t wait to get started and create more growth conversations.”
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County councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: “Our priority is to help Lancashire’s businesses to grow, creating new jobs for local people and growing the county’s economy.
“Boost is a key part of this strategy, by giving ambitious local businesses simple access to business support to help them realise their ambitions. If you’re determined to grow in 2019, Boost should be part of your Growth Conversation.”
A contract cleaning entrepreneur has almost doubled his company’s turnover in two years, thanks in large part to Boost’s growth mentoring programme.
Graham Coulston-Herrmann, who owns Preston-based Rosemary Glen, along with subsidiaries Enviro Group and Dublcheck, has seen annual sales rise from £250,000 to £480,000.
Grimsargh-based Graham established his business in 2012 as a contract cleaning enterprise and later took on additional specialist cleaning work.
In 2015 Graham began trading under the Enviro Group brand, cleaning kitchen extraction systems, ventilation hygiene equipment and carrying out kitchen deep cleaning. The group currently employs 55 staff.
Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and 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 programme involved Community and Business Partners matching Graham with seasoned business mentor Carl Bradshaw.
Graham said: “I received a lot of very good advice from Carl that enabled us to better structure the business and drive growth. I have no doubt that his advice was a significant factor in us getting to where we are today.”
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Graham added: “The support allowed me to look objectively at the business, which has allowed us to grow and create more jobs. At the same time, we were able to dispose of the less profitable parts of the business and concentrate on the more successful areas. I looked forward to my regular meetings with Carl as I always came away feeling energised and with new ideas to put into action.”
Carl said: “Our role as mentors is to help business owners take some of the emotion out of decision making. Quite often an area of someone’s business will take off rapidly and so the path to growth may look very different to what was intended when it first started.
“This was certainly the case with Graham’s business where there was greater potential for growth in the more specialist parts of the contract cleaning industry.
“The work we did together allowed Graham to make more informed decisions at these forks in the road and this has led to more new contracts and jobs for his business.”
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Businesses can register to take full advantage of the support available through Boost by filling in the contact us form on the Boost website