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Business Development & Training

Schemes that can help you upskill your team and develop your company


Boost Business Lancashire offers a wide range of leading-edge funded programmes, delivered by specialists with a track record of growing established and innovative start-up businesses. We can help businesses address a number of growth challenges and opportunities, including:

  • Change Management: Sustainable business growth depends on commercial agility – the ability of a business to adapt to change and ultimately profit from it.
  • Profit improvement: As your business grows it is vital to ensure you don’t let 'the sales tail wag the profit 'dog'. This means doing as much as possible to boost your bottom line performance.

  • Starting a business: Turning a great business idea into a successful enterprise takes a special set of skills – but none are beyond the reach of determined entrepreneurs.

  • Developing a growth strategy: Sustaining growth brings multi-faceted challenges – extra resources, financial management and often a fresh mindset.
  • Leadership networking: Being a business leader can be a lonely and daunting experience. You’ve got big decisions to make and really need a sounding board. But who can you turn to?
  • Raising finance: Accessing the funds you need to succeed is especially difficult in the current climate. Knowing where to look and who to ask can make a world of difference.

  • Growth mentoring and coaching: Imagine being able to speak to a successful business person who’s overcome the challenges you face every day in your business - people who’ve tasted success and learned some insightful lessons along the way.

  • Product and service development: Prices and quality are no longer enough to guarantee growth: innovating new products and services is increasingly crucial in a value-conscious environment.

  • Sales and marketing: Having decided to grow your business, you need to know where this expansion will come from. or calling 0800 488 00570800 488 0057.

More Programme

The MORE Programme is delivered by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). We provide a combination of advice, guidance, business support and access to facilities to help the growth of creative, digital and media sector companies in the North West of England.

Eligibility criteria does apply:

The MORE Programme is open to existing businesses who:

  • Have set-up and registered their business in England within the last 3 years
  • Are trading in the North West of England
  • Employ fewer than 250 people
  • Have a turnover of less than £40million

The MORE Programme is open to pre-start businesses who:

  • Are looking to set-up within the next 3 years
  • Want to locate their business in the North West of England
  • Who want to start a creative, digital or media focused business

We are only able to work with businesses who work "Business to Business"

The support delivered through this programme is free, but numbers are limited so register your interest with us now.

For more details visit

Craft Council Collective

Crafts Council Collective is a programme of CPD provision for makers. It comprises five programmes of support for makers: Craft Rally, Hothouse, Portfolio, Injection and Artistic Licence.

Craft Rally

Craft Rally is an inclusive, dynamic and inspirational opportunity for makers to exchange information and ideas delivered via a physical and virtual network. Craft Rally is open to all makers at any stage in their career, wherever they are based.

For more details see


The next Hothouse programme will take place between January to June 2014. Hothouse is a sequential core programme over a six month period, and it's led by expert trainers and experienced practicing makers. The programme comprises: group sessions on developing business skills, market knowledge and creativity; networking events which bring participants together as a national group; support from a peer buddy from a past cohort; 1:1 sessions with a specialist mentor from the sector.

For more details see


Injection is the Crafts Council's business development scheme for mid-career and established craft practices. Injection is currently being piloted with 12 selected makers from the London, Yorkshire and Humber regions.

For more details see


Portfolio working is the norm in the craft sector to enable makers to develop their ongoing professional practice.

The Portfolio programme provides additional ways of working via partnership and collaboration to:

  • Gain entry routes into new sectors
  • Highlight impact that specialist craft skills and material knowledge has on other industries

For more details visit


InfoLab21 offers a wide range of services for businesses from funded ICT support to providing office space.

In the last 7 years, having established a network of ICT related businesses, InfoLab21 has assisted over 1000 companies through various funded projects.

Current projects include the ISIS programme.

For more details visit

The LEAD Programme

LEAD is a leadership development programme that equips you with the skills and the know-how to increase your profits, capitalise on new opportunities and make the most of your people.  The LEAD Programme, specifically for Creatives & Digitals is open for registration now.

For more details visit

The Furniture Makers' Company

The Furniture Makers’ Company is the British furnishing industry’s charity, which fosters and supports the industry by nurturing skills and expertise, helping those in need, and championing excellence.

  • We support students and young professionals with training and mentoring in order to foster talent and safeguard the future of the industry.
  • We provide support and assistance to those in need, who are working or have worked in the UK furnishing industry.
  • We encourage the highest standards and best practice in the design, manufacture, and retailing of all kinds of furniture and furnishings throughout the UK, recognising quality through the award of our prestigious Guild Marks.

For further information, contact Veronica Dunn,  or 020 7562 8522

Superfast Lancashire

Superfast Lancashire develop a tailored programme - free of charge - that will cover a selection of topics to help your business harness the potential of high speed fibre broadband. Superfast broadband allows you to make your marketing digital, with the ability to reach customers through new, faster and easier to track communications options like Facebook and Twitter.

For more details visit

Blue Orchid

Blue Orchid provides a flexible programme of one to one business support, coaching and training available to people who live throughout the UK, particularly those considering self-employment or starting their own business, including individuals who are unemployed or facing redundancy.

Our advisors work with people on a one to one basis to support those starting up in business because we believe that everyone is an individual with their own ideas and objectives.

They work with many business advisors across the country many of whom are experts in their own specialised areas.

We can help you with:

  • Exploring your business idea
  • One to one business advice
  • Specialist training workshops
  • Business plan preparation
  • Referral to support organisations
  • Social Enterprise advice
  • Support for businesses trading for less than three years

Blue Orchid are working in partnership with Business Finance Solutions to provide Start Up Loans, a government backed scheme to support new business.

For more details visit