Good News - Funding is back in Lancashire!

December 01, 2016 - 10:00am

Good News - Funding is back in Lancashire!

It’s been a while since there has been any new funding for SME business growth projects in Lancashire, but the great news is that Boost Business Lancashire has recently launched two new programmes.

1. Growth Vouchers

Thankfully not the same scheme as last time, where acceptance was literally determined by a lottery! The new scheme is Lancashire only and is designed to help businesses unlock barriers to growth by purchasing private sector expertise.

Examples of the support that can be subsidised are:

• Production of a prototype prior to full-scale production
• Production of a marketing campaign or branding
• Paying for specialist technical expertise
• Website development
• Development of key business software, eg, stock control, order processing.
Minimum voucher is £1,000 (for a £2,000 project), but Boost expect that most will be £2,500 for a £5,000 project.

2. Propel 2 Grow

Again for Lancashire only, up to 50% ERDF funded support is available towards consultancy projects aimed at helping you achieve your growth aspirations. Eligible projects could cover:

• Developing a business strategy
• Management and leadership skills
• Identifying and implementing operational efficiencies, eg, via an IT review
• Creativity and innovation
• Marketing
• Sales development

They haven’t yet had confirmation of the amount of funding that will be offered on the Propel scheme but they’re expecting further details soon. Affilius are currently working on the assumption that it will be similar to Growth Vouchers, and they expect some flexibility depending on the forecasted impact of the project in terms of jobs created and / or increase in turnover.

First come first served

The pot of money for these programmes is relatively small and as with previous schemes take up is expected to be high. Standard ERDF eligibility rules will apply and funds will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

What to do next

Affilius has access to expertise in all the areas mentioned above, so if you are considering a business improvement or growth project please call or email for further information and advice. Ask them how they can help!