AN enterprise trust which has helped thousands of businesses to start up is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Hyndburn Enterprise Trust, based at Accrington’s Globe Centre, was formed in 1982, and has spent the last three decades offering expert business advice, training and support to start-up companies in the Hyndburn area.

Executive director Aileen Evans, who has been with the organisation for around 25 years, said she has seen businesses grow, and flourish, in that time.

“We provide business support to new and developing companies.

“Over the years we have helped thousands of businesses set up, and we work with existing businesses to develop and grow across all sectors.

“Typically we work with small and medium-sized companies, anything from a one-man band to those employing around 50 people.

“We offer workshops for those inquiring about starting a business to give them an overview of what’s involved, advice on finance and the viability of their business, help writing a business plan, and one-to-one support.

“People we have worked with learnt that they can really rely on us. They can trust the trust.

“Most of us who give advice have run our own businesses, so we have first- hand experience of some of the problems these businesses face.”

Aileen said 24 local well-established companies from the public and private sectors joined together to form the trust to help those seeking self-employment, or their own start-up businesses.

Despite the economic downturn, she proudly says that the majority of businesses dealt with by the trust have continued to grow and succeed. At any one time, there are around 70 businesses on their books, and the trust specialises in women’s business enterprises and youth enterprises.

She said a large part of her role is sourcing funding to provide the free facilities to companies requiring the trust’s help.

“In the difficult economic climate, we have seen more people interested in starting a business, particularly those who have found themselves redundant.

“Many of the existing businesses we work with are continuing to grow, despite the economy.”

The organisation is planning a celebration event for around 50 guests, including past and present clients, at its offices on December 14.

Speaking about the future, Aileen said: “We want to build on the client base we have developed over the years with the thousands of businesses we have helped. All the signs for the future seem positive.”