A £7.25MILLION scheme to help promote business growth in Lancashire moved a step closer with the approval of match funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Lancashire Business Growth Hub will enable businesses to create more than 1,200 jobs by 2015, safeguard a further 700 and boost the Lancashire economy by £20m.

Through the hub, firms with high growth potential will be prioritised for access to practical specialist advice, coaching and mentoring.

The Lancashire Business Growth Hub will stimulate growth by matching firms with high growth potential with finance and equity networks and other professional services.

The hub has been developed and delivered by business, underpinned by a partnership between Lancashire County Council, UCLAN, Lancaster University, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire and Winning Pitch with £3.6m of the funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Lancashire County Council will invest £2m in the hub with a further £1m coming from other partners and £600,000 from participating businesses.