Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Council joins Edge Hill University and UCLan to drive forward innovation & growth in local business


  • Council partnership with academia to drive forward innovative business solutions
  • Edge Hill's SME Productivity & Innovation Centre is an internationally recognised centre of excellence

West Lancashire Borough Council is pleased to announce they will be working in partnership with Edge Hill University & UCLan to launch a collaborative Innovation Programme to West Lancashire SMEs, helping them address challenges and identify opportunities for business growth. 

The programme is open for applications now, with a launch event taking place on Wednesday 8 May 2024.  The programme is fully funded until 31st March 2025, from the Council's UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and has a primary focus on supporting businesses who have the potential to scale up through new innovative ways of working. The aim of the programme is to drive impact through profitable growth, productivity improvement, new product development and business technology adoption. 

The programme will be complemented with a ‘Skills for Growth’ offer, to support SMEs execute specific, tactical, innovation projects, by facilitating access to new graduate, higher-level skills in key knowledge disciplines.

Yvonne Gagen Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council said:"This exciting collaboration with Edge Hill University and UCLan will combine high quality skills and knowledge to support local SMEs to become more innovative, scale up and therefore improve economic prosperity across the Borough.”

“The programme will also provide graduates with opportunities to work with key businesses, to help develop a skilled workforce that is vital for supporting economic growth. I would encourage businesses who are looking to scale up to take advantage of this fully funded support".

Professor Simon Bolton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Employability) at Edge Hill University said: “We are delighted to be leading on the West Lancashire Innovation Programme to support local, growth potential SMEs. By combining the expertise and innovation resources of Edge Hill and UCLan we are bringing a comprehensive offer of proven innovation and leadership development services to our local West Lancashire businesses.”

“Edge Hill's SME Productivity & Innovation Centre is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for supporting scale-up potential businesses and our High Growth Innovation Sprint in particular, is formally Endorsed by the UK Scaleup Institute. Likewise, UCLan have an excellent track record on supporting SMEs with product development and we're very pleased to be collaborating again with them. Whether a business is looking to improve their market share, grow into new markets, or development new products and services, the West Lancashire Collaborative Innovation programme will be able to help." 

For further information about the West Lancashire Innovation Programme contact: pic@edgehill.co.uk

To reserve a place at the upcoming launch, please visit Launch Event - West Lancashire Collaborative Innovation Programme