Prime Minister David Cameron today paid tribute to the Local Business Accelerators campaign launched by Britain’s regional and local newspapers, including the Lancashire Telegraph.

Mr Cameron described it as an “excellent initiative” aimed at giving practical support to small businesses across the UK.

He said: “In towns and cities across the country, local and regional newspapers are helping to build stronger local communities and contributing to growth by supporting local businesses.

"They have a major role to play in championing growth.

“I want this to be the most pro-growth Government in living memory.

"We are cutting red tape, cutting corporation tax, boosting tax relief for investors in start ups and entrepreneurs, getting the banks to increase lending to small firms and supporting the banks' £2.5 billion Business Growth Fund to back established and growing businesses.

"The Local Business Accelerators campaign will help provide the boost that our smaller British businesses need right now.

"By joining forces to launch this excellent initiative, local newspapers are demonstrating their commitment and providing exactly the sort of practical, hands-on support that will help young local businesses succeed and grow.

"Those that will benefit from the initiative are the very businesses and entrepreneurs that will help to lead Britain’s recovery.

"I want to thank all those involved for taking part in Local Business Accelerators and to wish you every success with this important campaign.”

Nearly 500 daily and weekly titles are taking part in Local Business Accelerators, organised by the Newspaper Society, which will deliver a £15 million shot in the arm for fledgling British businesses.

The campaign’s national ambassador is Deborah Meaden from Dragon’s Den.

Local newspapers are joining forces to find the nation’s most promising young businesses and help them accelerate their success with top professional advice from local business mentors and a substantial allocation of free advertising space in their local paper.

For more information on Local Business Accelerators, visit the website below.