FIVE East Lancashire businesses have been shortlisted in a quest to find Britain’s most dynamic fledgling enterprises.

Two leading business figures joined Lancashire Telegraph head of advertising Andy Phelan to select the best of a large number of local entries for the Local Business Accelerators scheme.

The bold initiative, backed nationally by Dragons’ Den judge Deborah Meaden is being spearheaded by the voice of local media, the Newspaper Society.

Nearly 500 local Press publications, including the Lancashire Telegraph, have joined forces to promote the strength and value of local newspapers.

The scheme will seek out nation’s most promising young businesses and help them accelerate their success with free advertising and expert advice.

In East Lancashire three businesses will be named and selected to receive free advertising in the Lancashire Telegraph and advice from experts.

Mike Damms, chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, and Aileen Evans, executive director of Hyndburn Enterprise Trust.

One of the three will also be chosen to go forward and compete nationally to win a year's mentoring from Deborah Meaden and an ad campaign devised by a top London ad agency.

Across the UK nearly 3,000 businesses have put themselves forward for the LBA initiative, which has received the public backing of Prime Minister David Cameron.

In East Lancashire, bosses of the five shortlisted enterprises will now be invited to do a presentation next month in front of the judges who will then pick the winning trio.

“Locally there was quite a variety of entrants and a good mix of covering education, commerce and social enterprises”, said Aileen Evans.