A GROUP which champions local businesses is urging innovative enterprises in East Lancashire to apply for a newly-launched government grant.

Urging eligible businesses to apply for The Future Fund, Steve Fogg, who chairs the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: "The new Future Fund is looking to support innovative companies with good potential, and which will be essential in ensuring Lancashire retains its capabilities in innovation and technology. These companies typically rely on equity investment and are currently adversely affected by Covid-19.

"Until now these companies have been unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. The Future Fund financing will support companies facing a significantly extended length of time between funding rounds, due to the impact of the current economic situation.

"Developed by government and delivered by the British Business Bank, the Future Fund will help these companies through the current period of economic disruption and recovery, so they are able to continue their growth trajectory and reach their full economic potential. These companies will be a vital part of Lancashire's economic recovery as we emerge from this crisis."

Sarah Kemp, chief executive of the LEP added, ''We have an array of companies in Lancashire who are at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement and which are invaluable assets to not only Lancashire but to the UK. The Future Fund provides a real opportunity for these businesses to access much-needed funding to secure long-term sustainability.''

Further details on fund and other Covid-19 economic support packages can be found at www.lancashirelep.co.uk/covid-19