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£13m on way to help create 1,000 new jobs in East Lancashire
EAST Lancashire’s councils today won a £13 million government programme aimed at creating 1,000 jobs.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the Regenerate Pennine Lancashire consortium will get £4million to support small companies across the county.
The scheme, administered by Blackburn with Darwen Council, will provide a quarter of the investment needed for the expansion of companies in existence for three years or less.
The aim is to support 600 fledgling small and medium-sized enterprises, securing another £9million of private investment and creating 1,000 jobs.
The Lancashire Business Enterprise Programme has partners including Regenerate and Blackburn with Darwen Council. It will offer capital grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 to small businesses trading for less than 36 months with growth ambitions and the skills required to create new, long-term jobs.
The programme is specifically designed for firms not eligible for other grant and loan schemes.
Regenerate Pennine Lancashire – owned by Lancashire County, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn and Rossendale Councils – will be the key decision-making body on the £3million of grants.
The final £1million will provide support and assistance to help the companies make the best use of the cash. Blackburn with Darwen resources boss Andy Kay, who is Regenerate chairman, said: “This is a very exciting programme which will help hundreds of new businesses across the county, helping them to grow in size and strength.
“We can help them every step of the way. We have worked hard to secure this money to support businesses when they need it most and create much-needed good employment.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “This is good news. Small businesses can be the key to new employment. I just hope that the banks respond to this by providing help to these firms.”
Mike Damms, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce boss, said: “We believe this programme will add substantially to the county’s rediscovery of the entrepreneurial spirit.”
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