Businesses in rural Lancashire are set to receive a £4.6m windfall in the form of funding grants, which aim to boost employment and encourage growth in the region.
The money is aiming to help businesses of all types. Farmers will be able to bring their businesses into the twenty-first century by investing in new technology, or diversifying their existing offerings. Small businesses in the area are also set to benefit, with funding allocated specifically for small or micro enterprises that want to create job opportunities for locals. Rural businesses across Lancashire and other areas of Greater Manchester will be in line for the grants, which are expected to become available in June this year.
A previous programme of a similar kind helped gather funding to create a manufacturing facility for a family-owned crisps business, while a local chair-making company benefitted from funding to move them to a larger site after they outgrew their old premises. It’s hoped that this new programme will provide advantages similar to the older schemes, helping small local businesses to grow and expand without having to take on any debt or reduce their service standards.
The task of allocating the funding will fall on local authorities known as Local Action Groups. These groups consist of members of the public, as well as representatives from the private and voluntary sectors, many of whom spent 2014 identifying certain funding priorities. It will be a tough ask to narrow down the shortlists and choose the lucky recipients of the grants, but the job has been passed on to locals and members of the public to ensure fairness and impartiality for all businesses involved.