A finance firm is hoping to mark a milestone year by helping companies to grow their business.
Rosebud Finance, which provides growth funding for Lancashire businesses, is inviting new applications from firms seeking loans or equity funding.
It hopes to carry on the work which saw seen Rosebud invest almost £7m in nearly 70 companies over five years to the end of 2015.
That funding also helped firms to secure a further £18m in finance from other sources and create hundreds of new jobs, according to figures compiled by Enterprise Ventures, which manages Rosebud on behalf of Lancashire County Council.
Paul Taberner, of Enterprise Ventures, said: “Rosebud was part of a visionary strategy on the part of county council to support entrepreneurship and create new sources of wealth and employment in Lancashire.
“Over the years it has been an important element in the funding mix for local SMEs and in recent years, given the increased problems they face in accessing finance, it has really come into its own.
“Rosebud tends to be more flexible than other sources of funding and we can often support companies at an earlier stage. We are also an experienced team who understand businesses’ funding needs and can provide a swift response.”
Set up in June 1986 by the County Council, Rosebud provided finance for smaller firms as part of a wider strategy to create new jobs in the wake of the early 1980s recession and with the ongoing decline of traditional industries.
Since then, Rosebud has continued to update its offer to reflect the needs of business in Lancashire with Rosebud Micro, a new fund aimed at smaller-sized businesses, created in 2008.
Companies can get between £10,000 and £49,000 to support their plans and, during the last five years, Rosebud Micro has invested more than £750,000 and created around 180 jobs.
County Councillor Niki Penney, Chairman of Lancashire County Developments Limited (LCDL) – the county council’s economic development company, said: “Since it was launched, Rosebud has changed to reflect the needs of businesses, the aspirations of the county council and, more recently, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
“In 2011, Rosebud responded to change by moving to invest in larger businesses in key growth sectors.
“This strategy resulted in the creation of high-value jobs in the county, along with many businesses linking with our colleges and universities for their knowledge and recruitment.
“We’ve had companies getting funding, which grow their business and then return to us when they’re looking for further growth. This shows that we’ve got a product that companies value and which provides them with what they need.
“Working with Enterprise Ventures, Rosebud has already supported many businesses and we’re looking forward to supporting others in the future.”