Support to grow your business

Where to look?

Looking for funding or support to grow your business?

There is a wealth of support available for businesses looking to grow in West Lancashire. Whether you’re looking to access specialist business mentoring, trade internationally, purchase plant or machinery, innovate and develop new products, Boost and other partner organisations can help.

We work closely with our partners to support businesses to grow in West Lancashire. Below are a number of Council and partner services offering support and guidance.

If you would like to discuss any of the business support programmes below, please contact the Council’s Business Engagement Team on 01695 712692 or email

Access to Finance

Access to Finance (A2F) (external link) service offers bespoke funding support to SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in Lancashire, to help them to source funding and finance that will unlock business growth. 

Providing fully-funded (no cost to access) bespoke finance support for eligible businesses with no fees, commission or introduction costs. Their dedicated finance specialists have expert knowledge of public and private sector funding channels, helping local businesses to identify the most relevant sources of funding and assisting in discussions with potential investors.

A2F offer the following support for Lancashire SMEs:

  • One-to-one support to develop business plans and financial forecasts
  • Practical pitch and presentation development to help SMEs become investment-ready
  • A range of webinars and workshops providing insight and knowledge around managing business finances and sourcing funding
  • Signposting and introductions to appropriate finance providers
  • Access to wider business support through Lancashire's Growth Hub – Boost Business Lancashire

For further information on how A2F can support your business contact the Council's Business Growth Team today: 01695 712692 or email

Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and their purpose is to help Lancashire’s businesses grow.

Through Boost, Lancashire businesses from start-ups to large companies can get access to a number of funded programmes in areas such as mentoring, scaling up, innovation, international trade, leadership development, and accessing finance.

Boost can also help businesses navigate the plethora of national business support programmes to find the support they need.

For more information visit Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub (external link)

The Boost business support directory (external link) provides further details anout the Boost funded support programmes, as well as an up-to-date directory of other available business support in Lancashire. 

Help to Grow: Management

The Help to Grow: Management programme is a Government Executive Development programme accredited by the Small Business Charter.

The 12-week programme, which combines online sessions with face-to-face learning, is 90% funded by the Government and has been designed to allow participants to complete it alongside full-time work. The programme is delivered by university business schools throughout the United Kingdom.

To join Help to Grow: Management, your business must:

  • Be a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) based in the United Kingdom
  • From any business sector, employing between 5 and 249 people
  • Have been operational for at least one year
  • Not be a charity

For more information and to register your interest visit Help to Grow: Management (external link)

Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund

Are you a manufacturing business seeking to grow and have a project in mind?

The Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund aims to support Lancashire manufacturing businesses with a grant of up to 30% of the total project cost (maximum grant of £3,000) i.e. eligible projects with a value of £10,000 would attract a grant of £3,000.

Eligible projects include those that lead to job creation, help to develop new products or services and bring them to market, plus drive up productivity.

To be eligible, your business must:

  • Be a manufacturing business
  • Operate business-to-business

For more information visit Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund (external link)

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Are you looking to grow your business and need finance to make it happen?

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund offers three different funding options designed to plug gaps in the provision of commercially available finance, ranging from £25,000 loans to £2million equity investments.

Funding options include:

  • Small business loans, £25,000- £100,000: For new or growing businesses to support working capital needs
  • Business loans, £100,000 - £750,000: For early stage or more established businesses that can demonstrate growth potential
  • Early stage and later stage equity funding, £50,000 - £2million: For start-ups or more established businesses with high growth potential

To be eligible, your business must:

  • Operate business-to-business

For further information, download the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund Guide (pdf, 588kb)

Rosebud Finance

Rosebud Finance helps small and medium sized businesses in high growth sectors access fast, flexible loan and equity finance (or a combination of both) for growth. Finance is available from £10,000 up to £300,000 and is designed to meet the needs of your business with competitive rates and terms, along with a package of tailored business support and advice.

Rosebud is looking to support growing businesses in the following high growth business sectors (external link):

To be eligible, your business must:

  • Be in one of the following high growth sectors: Advanced manufacturing, Aerospace, Creative and Digital, Energy and Environmental, Finance and Professional or Health
  • Operate business-to-business
  • Be based in the Lancashire County Council administrative area or relocating here

Productivity and Innovation Centre

Could your business be making better use of data to drive growth and innovation?

The Productivity and Innovation Centre supports businesses to significantly improve their innovation practices and their effectiveness at commercialising their ‘innovation assets’. We do this primarily by turning data and customer insights in actionable knowledge.

Businesses can engage on practical programmes of intensive workshops, with accompanying support from our innovation experts, to achieve two outcomes:

  • To adopt and embed highly effective rapid innovation processes in their business; using strong evidence bases to analyse and verify decision making on the commercial case, technological feasibility, and organisational readiness to deliver an innovation
  • To drive growth through the re-positioning or release of new product, service or process innovations

The underpinning theme of the Centre is in supporting businesses to engage in data driven innovation. Data becomes most valuable to a business when it is transformed into ‘actionable knowledge’, providing insights to be used for strategic and operational decision-making.

To be eligible, your business must:

  • Be based in Lancashire
  • Operate business-to-business

The programme is delivered by Edge Hill University and is part-funded by Edge Hill University and the European Regional Development Fund. For more information visit Productivity & Innovation Centre (external link)

Your local bank

If you are looking to finance your business, have you considered speaking with a relationship manager at your local bank?

Banks can offer practical solutions and a range of products to support your business; whether it is business growth or asset purchases, your bank could potentially help you to secure vital 'match funding' for other funding programmes. Banks have access to a range of services, including the British Business Bank's Enterprise Finance Guarantee (external link)