Boost Business Lancashire
 0800 488 0057 or e-mail [email protected]
@BoostInfo @BoostInfo

Boost Business Lancashire is the ERDF-backed Lancashire Business Growth Hub led by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. Boost helps growth-hungry Lancashire businesses realise their potential by providing simple, free and impartial access to a range of business support programmes.

Support available via Boost includes mentoring from experienced business people, masterclasses for both new start-ups and early stage businesses, help accessing finance and innovation and product development advice.

Contact: 0800 488 0057 or e-mail [email protected] 

Chorley Council
 Employment, Skills & Business Support, 01257 515300, [email protected]


Chorley Council has a dedicated team undertaking a range of activities to develop a strong local economy, one of the Council’s key strategic priorities. The business advisors within the team focus on supporting business start-ups and intensively assisting existing businesses who have aspirations to grow. Financial assistance is available to qualifying applicants, through start-up grants and loans; capital grants to existing businesses who are expanding and creating new jobs; and a ‘Choose Chorley’ inward investment package to relocating companies. In addition, given Chorley’s strong market town heritage, support for retail businesses is a key area of assistance. The Council also offers employability support to individuals and businesses through the Chorley Works 8 week placement programme. 

Job Centre Plus


Job Centre Plus can support Employers across Central and South Lancashire with all their recruitment needs. The team can offer advice on recruitment methods to support the local community and local job vacancies.

They can also update Employers and Partners on Welfare Reform, Universal Credit and support employers via Disability Confidence throughout Lancashire.

Lancashire Business Expo
 [email protected]

This annual event provides limitless opportunities for businesses across the region that want to thrive and succeed.

With over 2,000 professionals attending on an annual basis, the Lancashire Business Expo provides a unique platform for organisations throughout the region’s thriving business community to network, promote their business and of course generate new business.

The Expo features a wide range of businesses promoting their products and services from both the private and public sectors, corporates and SMEs.

The event also offers delegates the chance to attend keynote sessions from leading Lancashire figures who will be sharing their experience and knowledge to inspire you to develop your business.

Lancashire Community Finance

[email protected]


Lancashire Community Finance, a not for profit CDFI, provides affordable and ethical loans at fair market rates to individuals and businesses in Lancashire who may struggle to get assistance from mainstream providers such as banks and building societies.

LCF is a delivery partner for the government funded Start Up Loans scheme providing advice, loans and mentoring to startup businesses and businesses under two years old. The scheme offers a repayable loan up to £25000 to individuals over the age of 18 who have a viable business idea but no access to finance and funds businesses in every sector.

Lancashire County Council Procurement Services


Lancashire County Council spends approximately £340m per year through procurement. The goods, services and works they procure have a major impact on the people of Lancashire and their communities including economic, social values and environmental factors.

Their aim is for the County Council to have an innovative and sustainable approach to procurement that supports and complements effective commissioning arrangements to support the design and delivery of efficient and effective public services. 


learndirect is one of the country’s largest employment and skills providers, supporting the economic growth of businesses, and the career aspirations of employees within. Managing the progress of 80,000+ individuals each year whilst they develop their employability skills/vocational qualifications, they support business through conducting tailored Training Needs Analysis, then introduce accredited training activities, including delivering 20,000+ Traineeships/Apprenticeships annually to meet employer/sectoral needs.

Following the recent award of the contract, Employees Support in Skills, funded by the Skills Funding Agency, businesses across Lancashire can request support from learndirect to manage the up-skilling of employees. This can include access to English, Maths, ESOL and digital courses and an extensive range of accredited sector focussed vocational courses that can be tailored to meet the needs of business and enhance the career progression routes for employees.  

Pink Link Ladies work with women in business providing local networking groups for them to connect with like-minded ladies. Lots of business is done in a relaxed and informal manner, but with a high energy environment that makes it enjoyable. They also offer a variety of events from conferences, regional meetings, socials and trips. Pink Link have been established for over 7 years and have built a reputation for being professional, friendly and offering an inclusive policy where everyone is welcomed and equal.

There is an online community where ladies can join freely or promote their businesses with a choice of levels to suit their business needs. They organise the regional awards for business women in the North West, The Enterprise Vision Awards (The Evas) which is seen as the premier awards for women in the area.

Preston City Council 
 Katherine Ashton, 01772 903414, [email protected]


Preston is transforming and we want businesses to take part in and benefit from the opportunities from the City Deal and other investment. There is a wide range of exciting developments taking shape now and in the future across the city.

We are committed to helping our existing businesses and welcoming new businesses and investors, large and small. If you are a new or expanding business in Preston, we can help support you in many ways including local business support contacts, property searches, recruitment and training help, events and more.  

ROI Solutions at Prestons College

Ann Beetham, 01772 225 529 / 07891 214 849 or email [email protected]


ROI Solutions at Preston’s College is the largest Apprenticeship and Training Services provider in the local area.

ROI Solutions offers Construction organisations Apprenticeship pathways from Level 2 to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.

Whether you are looking to recruit a new apprentice or thinking about upskilling existing staff, ROI Solutions can offer Apprenticeships in:

• Bench Joinery Level 2/3

• Brickwork Level 2/3

• Construction Level 4

• Construction Contracting Ops Technical Applications Level 3

• Electro Technical Level 3

• Gas Instillations Level 3

• General Construction Operations Level 2

• Painting and Decorating Level 2/3

• Plastering Level 2

• Plumbing Level 2

• Site Carpentry Level 2/3

Runshaw College

01772 643000


Runshaw College provides a wide range of learning and development opportunities for employers and their workforce’s right across the Preston and central Lancashire area. The College offers learning programmes at all levels catering for those needing support with English and maths right up to more advanced foundation and first year degree programmes through its HE partner UCLAN. Working with key stakeholders in the local community including county and local councils and Job Centre Plus Runshaw College is actively involved in supporting and up-skilling those seeking employment and developing the local skills base required by employers .

Through Runshaw Business Centre the College’s commercial training arm it offers Apprenticeships and work based training in over 20 vocational areas and provides bespoke training solutions for business. Runshaw Business Centre’s dedicated team provides support, advice and guidance in the development and implementation of training and learning programmes. It also has access to funding and financial support to enable employers and their staff to secure the right training and business education.  

South Ribble Borough Council
 Jennifer Clough & Karen Shaw, Economic Development Team,
01772 625567, [email protected]


South Ribble is engineering the future with a £300+ million Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal investment programme, which will deliver substantial infrastructure improvements, promote skills development, bring forward new sites and create over 20,000 new jobs over ten years.

A commercial property search facility, local contacts, links to support organisations and information about funding initiatives are just part of the supportive business environment we provide to help businesses develop. Contact the Economic Development Team to find out more about the City Deal Investment Programme, the space to grow, excellent connections, strong skills base and quality lifestyle in South Ribble. 

University of Central Lancashire
 [email protected]

Here at the University of Central Lancashire we believe in establishing collaborative partnerships with our business customers. What sets us apart is our strong reputation for applied business research, entrepreneurship, innovation and bringing academic excellence to life. Innovation is part of our culture and we work closely with businesses, sharing and exchanging our expertise and research to help give you that competitive edge.

Contact us to:

- access our world-leading expertise through academics, researchers and facilities to help your business innovate.

- develop the talent within your organisation though a range of professional qualifications including Higher and Degree Apprenticeships. We also offer short courses.

- utilise the student and graduate community to access up-to-date knowledge innovation and enterprise and recruit the leaders of the future.

- tap into a wide range of specialist business support aimed at helping the region’s SMEs grow which includes the Centre for SME Development.