MORE than 700 businesses are on the path to growth after being signed up to Boost Business Lancashire, the county’s £7.2m business growth hub.

The service, launched last June, offers access to a range of free and part-funded business support programmes to help ambitious, growing businesses in areas such as leadership, mentoring, innovation, skills and access to finance.

More than 154 businesses in Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley have accessed the service, while in Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale 83 firms are receiving Boost support.

Boost aims to grow the county’s economy by £20m, create at least 1,200 new jobs and safeguard 700 more by 2015. The European Regional Development Fund has provided £3.6m in funding towards Boost which is being delivered by Lancashire County Council and five partners.

Andy Walker, head of business growth and innovation for Lancashire County Council, said: “We have been inundated with enquiries from Lancashire’s growing businesses and this latest milestone shows just how much growth potential there is in the county. Those companies that have been accepted onto Boost programmes are benefiting from world-class business advice tailored to meet their needs.”

Boost Business Lancashire is being delivered through a partnership between Lancashire County Council, Community and Business Partners, Lancaster University, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Winning Pitch. £3.6m has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund.

Businesses can sign up to the programme through the website www.boostbusiness or call 0800 488 0057.