LANCASHIRE’S bright spark entrepreneurs can get six months’ rent-free office space in Blackburn, Nelson or Chorley for thinking up the best business idea.

The offer is top prize in a new county-wide contest for fledgling firms.

Boost Business Lancashire, the county’s £7.2 million growth hub, has joined with Winning Pitch and business accommodation provider Bizspace, to launch the Flying Start competition.

It aims to encourage more ‘pre-start’ enterprises to use the free support from Boost’s Lancashire LEAP programme.

It involves four one-day bootcamps plus business coaching to help entrepreneurs develop their final blueprint.

Tim Smith, senior consultant at Winning Pitch, said: “There are many people out there with great ideas, but it can be difficult to turn these into a viable business without the right support.”

Boost Business Lancashire is led by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

It aims to grow the county’s economy by £20 million and create at least 1,200 new jobs and safeguard 700 more by 2015.

Entrants must agree their new business will be based in Lancashire, will trade with other firms and be able to turn over at least £250,000 in three years' time, or employ five people.