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Business development support

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Developing your business? Find expert advice for growing it successfully from loans and grants to support with finding larger office space, recruitment and training.

This section provides an overview of business development services offering support and advice to assist with the growth and development of your Lancashire business. You'll also find information on financial support options, plus business networking and events that will help you make strong local contacts and provide opportunities to promote your business.

COVID-19 business support: for help and support for businesses affected by coronavirus visit Preston City Council - business support COVID-19.

Local business support services

Enterprise for all - providing enterprise for all in Lancashire

Enterprise for all offers businesses development support on how to scale up your business by providing tailor-made business advice to help your business grow and succeed.

UCLAN - Grow your business

UCLAN - Grow your business offers a wide range of specialist business support with a strong track record for securing funding aimed at supporting and developing the region's small business community.

Boost - Lancashire's business growth hub

Boost Business Lancashire offers bespoke help designed to support ambitious businesses achieve significant sustainable business growth, plus the option of applying for growth mentoring to help tackle challenges you may be facing in growing your business

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.

Foreign Owned Company Support

If you are an internationally owned Lancashire based company, you are entitled to the same support as any UK registered business. However, you also have access to a dedicated Key Account Manager who can put together a bespoke business support package including access to a range of services such as business planning support, research and intelligence.

For details visit Invest in Lancashire - International.

Industry specific business support

Health industry development support

As part of Lancaster University's £41m Health Innovation Campus, they are offering fully-funded opportunities for SME businesses in Lancashire to grow and innovate in health. 

For details visit Lancaster University - Health Innovation Campus.

Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership

The Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership is part of the Lancashire Employment and Skills Hub and brings together public, private and charity sector organisations to address local digital skills needs. In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership has drawn together information on digital tools and freely available digital training to support the use of those tools to support businesses, charities, educators and individuals.

Digital Lancashire 

Digital Lancashire brings digital professionals together to create useful connections and encourage collaborative partnerships to tackle ambitious projects. Aside from professional connections, they also connect individuals with new tendering opportunities, knowledge and talent through their events and jobs board.

Creative Lancashire

Creative Lancashire helps to strengthen existing businesses by building collaborations and networking opportunities, offering creative and digital business advice and providing information on finance, funding and growth.

Lancashire Forum Creative

UCLan's - Lancashire Forum Creative is a fully-funded European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme assisting Lancashire businesses with growth and increased profits, as well as helping individuals increase their confidence as leaders, strategic thinking and become better equipped to delegate and empower.

Business Companion

Business Companion provides free, accurate and practical advice on all trading standards law. The website has been put together by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute with trading standards and consumer law professionals. They have also published a guide with advice on the top five issues faced by businesses that sell goods or services online, by phone or by mail order and businesses that sell in people's homes called Distance Selling.

Business growth financial support

For current business growth grants and loans to help you develop your business and take it to the next level see business finance support.

Find business premises or office space

Whether you're looking to rent a commercial property or find larger office space to grow your team, Preston offers a wide range of options when it comes to finding the right workspace to develop your business.

For details see find business premises or office space.

Recruitment, apprenticeships, training and skills support

For advice and support around recruiting the best people to grow your business further, as well as apprenticeships and training support to assist in the upskilling of existing staff for both professional and business development see recruitment and training support.

Local business networks

The city offers a variety of business networking groups in and around Preston, which are great places to promote your business and make useful contacts. For a list of current networking meets in around the city see business networks.

Preston Partnership

Preston Partnership is an independent partnership of businesses and organisations that are passionate about and committed to the city. The Partnership is made up of organisations of all shapes and sizes with a common goal to champion the city of Preston and its surrounding area.

For more details and how to become a memeber see Preston Partnership.

Local business events

To find out what business events, expos, conferences and exhibitions are happening in and around Preston see business events.

For events further afield in and around Lancashire visit Boost Lancashire - Events

The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce also host a variety of free events and training alongside their paid for events. For more details visit Lancs Chamber - events

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