NEW entrepreneurs can now get a helping hand to get their ventures off the ground.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has launched its "Get Set" business start-up programme which offers a free package of help and support to people who want to start their own businesses.

Funded by the NorthWest Development Agency it provides a tailored package of advice, mentoring, financial support, and training to help get a new business up and running and make it a success.

Coun Malcolm Doherty, chairman of the Blackburn Regeneration Partnership, said: "As part of our programme of regeneration, we are very keen to assist local people who are setting up their own business.

"Get Set provides a practical helping hand to guide people through the difficulties of setting up and making a new business successful."

The scheme can provide access to a personal business advisor to talk through business ideas, and additional support is available through networking and mentoring -- giving new entrepreneurs the chance to speak to people who are already running successful companies.

The package also includes financial assistance to help through those difficult first few months.

A rolling programme of briefings and training programmes starts on Tuesday January 30. For more information contact Ian Lingard on 01254 263686.