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Preston businesses offered opportunity to deliver new £2.9m Business support programme

7 July 2023

Preston and Lancashire's private sector business support organisations are being offered the opportunity of working with Boost; Lancashire's Business Growth Hub to deliver its new programme of business support between September 2023 and March 2025.

Boost's new programme will be funded by Lancashire County Council, along with Preston City Council and other local authority district councils. Preston has committed a proportion of its UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation to ensure Preston businesses can continue to access business support as well as opening up benefits for a wider range of businesses.

The GOV.UK - UK Shared Prosperity Fund is part of the government's Levelling Up agenda and a succession to European funding.

A total of £2.9m has been committed to Boost's new programme across Lancashire and Boost is now seeking private sector delivery partners to deliver its business support. Organisations can apply for five lots which relate to different areas of its business support offer.

Andrew Leeming, programme manager, Boost, said:

"The end of EU  support gives the Lancashire business support community a unique opportunity to adapt to the changing needs of businesses and ensure that the public and private sectors work together to give businesses the best support possible.

"Lancashire has a diverse business support community and all sizes and types of business can receive support through Boost. The contracts that are available as part of this new programme of support reflect this.

"We want to work with organisations including those who may not have worked with Boost before and we are encouraging organisations to collaborate on joint bids where this will benefit the Lancashire business community. If you believe you can help us support the county's businesses by working directly through Boost, please apply."

The lots relate to the following four key areas of business support which Boost plans to deliver:

  • Boost Gateway and Business Advice Service
  • Flying Start
  • Growth Catalyst
  • Scale to Thrive

These will be supported by a marketing partner to deliver Boost's Central Marketing.

Tender opportunities

The tender opportunities to work with Lancashire County Council to deliver the new Boost contract are available at  Boost 5 Support Programme - Find a Tender

Submission deadline: July 27 at 10am.

Further information

UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government's Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. 

Preston City Council received an allocation of £5.2m from the UKSPF to invest in projects that will benefit the city's businesses, residents and communities by building pride of place and increasing life chances.

As part of its commitment to businesses, Preston has allocated funding to maintain and extend Boost Business Lancashire business support services focussing on:

  • Business review and diagnostic
  • Start Up Support
  • Growth and thrive
  • Support accessing funding and finance including municipal bonds and community shares
  • Promotion of understanding of co-operatives with links to the Preston Cooperative Development Network

For more information visit GOV.UK - UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus.

Boost 5 Support Programme

Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and sits at the heart of the business support landscape. The Boost 5 Support Programme offers a range of contracts offering support in Lancashire as detailed within the tender documents including Business Advice, Flying Start, Growth Catalyst, Scale to Thrive and Central Marketing.

Lancashire County Council is seeking to appoint suitably experienced Service Providers to deliver the Contracts for the Boost 5 Support Programme between 1 September 2023 and 31 March 2025 with the option for further extensions.

Lancashire County Council is acting as the lead commissioner for the Boost 5 Programme of Support contracts. Local District Councils have entered into a partnership arrangement with Lancashire County Council for delivery of requirements. The named Lancashire Local District Councils able to use these services / have requirements delivered: Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Pendle, Preston, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre, Lancaster, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.

The value oftheinitial 19 month term for the Boost 5 Support Services is £2,875,000. Options for additional flexibility of funding and requirements for all districts has been included and options to extend for up to a further 36 months has also been included, providing a potential total contract value of £9,495,000.

The submission deadline is July 27 at 10am.

Community Wealth Building

Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community Wealth Building wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone.