We are determined to boost business growth and strengthen levels of trade and investment to ensure the North is well placed to take advantage of global business opportunities, both now and when we leave the European Union. The North West has seen 93,300 new SMEs created since 2010.
In February this year, we launched the £400 million Northern Powerhouse Fund for small businesses across the North, ensuring they have access to the finance they need to start-up and grow. This fund has now made 62 investments/loans into businesses in the North West totalling £10.5m. That is over half of that invested across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse.
Over the last three years, Government has invested and funded the establishment of 38 Growth Hubs (one in each Local Enterprise Partnership area) including a network of Growth Hubs across the North West, which are providing businesses with access to tailored local advice and support to help them grow.
Of these, Growth Hubs in the North West have supported over 25,793 businesses and helped 2,680 individuals to start a new business.
For businesses in Lancashire, this support is provided by Boost Business Lancashire Growth Hub which acts as the first port of call for businesses seeking advice and support locally. Since its launch in November 2013, Boost has engaged and supported 5,294 businesses and helped 409 individuals to start up a new business.
Over the past few years, we have also invested over £1.5 billion through the Local Growth Fund in the North West for projects to boost local economies .The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership have now received over £320m as part of their Local Growth Funding to give businesses the support and opportunities they need and drive economic growth.