New advisors for refreshed BOOST Access to Finance

22 February 2024

Lancashire’s Boost Access to Finance service has recruited two new advisers as part of a new-look support programme designed to help ambitious Lancashire businesses secure finance to achieve their growth ambitions.

Left to right) Peter Capper; county councillor Carole Haythornthwaite; Mark Gibbons; Iain Duncan; Amanda Farrington; Andrew Leeming, programme manager, Boost

Peter Capper, a business finance adviser who has over 50 years’ experience at organisations including Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and FW Capital, has joined the service alongside Amanda Farrington.

Amanda has around 13 years’ experience advising businesses in roles at Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC.

Both will advise eligible Lancashire businesses how to achieve their potential by reviewing their current finance facilities, understanding the best options and working with them to secure growth finance.

The fully-funded service was previously delivered by national business support organisation the Growth Company and will now be managed directly by Lancashire County Council through Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub as part of its £3.9m support programme.

The service’s team of four finance specialists also includes lead adviser Mark Gibbons and adviser Iain Duncan.

In addition to one-to-one support with eligible businesses, the refreshed service will see the team manage a new investment readiness programme, work directly with debt and equity funders to help them better understand the Lancashire economy and also develop new services including a Lancashire angels network.

County Councillor Carole Haythornthwaite, lead member for economic development and environment, Lancashire County Council, said: “Helping businesses unlock growth finance is key to Lancashire’s economic growth and is a real focus for Lancashire County Council.

“The Access to Finance service being managed directly by Lancashire County Council as part of Boost will help us better understand the finance needs of our county’s businesses and be more flexible to align our support accordingly. This will help our businesses to grow, create Lancashire jobs and increase prosperity across the county.”

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. Its mission is to help Lancashire businesses thrive and since 2013, it has supported over 14,000 businesses, helping create 3,500 jobs while adding £100m to the local economy.

From September 1 2023, Boost is funded by Lancashire County Council, Department for Business & Trade (DBT), and UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) allocations from ten Lancashire local authorities. Previously the service was funded by Lancashire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Businesses in Lancashire’s ten contributing local authority areas can receive support through the Boost Access to Finance service. They are Blackburn with Darwen Council, Burnley Council, Chorley Council, Fylde Council, Hyndburn Borough Council, Pendle Borough Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and Wyre Council.

Mark Gibbons, Access to Finance – lead adviser, Lancashire County Council said: “Since 2015, Access to Finance has helped Lancashire businesses secure over £35m funding and create more than 800 jobs.

“Our new funding and delivery structure allows us greater flexibility to give businesses who want to innovate, grow their team and expand internationally by giving the right type and amount of support to suit their needs.

“As part of the transition to Lancashire County Council, we have invested in our team and now have four experienced finance advisers. Between them they have worked in a range of banking and commercial finance roles and have the knowledge to support Lancashire businesses whatever their finance requirements.”

“The new structure will also help build even stronger links between Boost Access to Finance and Lancashire County Council’s other finance services such as Rosebud Finance and gives us scope to develop new services where there is a specific need.”

You can find out more about the Boost Access to Finance service by visiting the Access to Finance page of Boost website or by contacting Boost’s Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057.

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