Use the links below to find out about the different types of finance that you may be able to access to help your business in Preston.

Starting a business

  • Useful contacts when starting a business including funding can be found on our website by visiting the start up support pages.

Expanding your business

  • Boost Business Lancashire offers a range of advice, special programmes and support to help grow your business including funding and finance options. Please visit the Boost Business Lancashire website or call 0800 488 0057
  • Visit the Government's Business is Great website for details of the different types of finance available.

Other Funding help

  • The NW Access to Finance Service is delivered by a team of experienced specialist finance advisors. It is an impartial, confidential and free service to eligible small to medium size businesses based in the North West (excludes retail). 
  • Mercia Technologies (formerly Enterprise Ventures) can provide finance for businesses in all sectors and at all stages of development - from funding for start-ups to investment to help you grow your business.
  • Funding Circle is an online loans marketplace that enables businesses to borrow £5,000 to £500,000 directly from real people in the UK. Lancashire County Council has joined forces with Funding Circle and will also lend to eligible local businesses that take out a Funding Circle loan. For details of how it all works download Icon for pdf Welcome to the Funding Circle [31.86KB] or go directly to the Funding Circle website.
  • Rosebud Micro Loan Fund is for new and small businesses and is managed by Lancashire County Developments Ltd, offering competitive loans of up to £10,000 to help businesses grow. Tel: 01772 536651 for further details on this and other Rosebud help from Lancashire County Council.
  • Lancashire Community Finance is a Community Development Finance Institution providing loans at fair market rates to individuals and small businesses in the Lancashire area who can't get help from the banks.
  • Seedrs is a crowdfunding organisation making it simple for investors to buy into businesses and allowing all types of businesses raise capital. Apply online at the Seedrs website or email 

Innovation Funding

The Innovation Funding service has funds to bid for throughout the year. Check their website for more details and application dates at Gov.UK Innovation Funding website.

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme supports the cost of installing full fibre broadband connections direct to businesses for the fastest and most reliable gigabit-capable broadband speeds available.

Through the scheme SMEs can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of full fibre connection, either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can also benefit from the scheme as part of a group project and can claim for a voucher of £500. See Boost Business Lancashire - Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme for details.

Making Carbon Work

Grants of up to £8,000 (matched by the business) may be available to buy "low carbon technology" for your business as part of the Making Carbon Work programme.

Manufacturing Growth Fund

Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund is fully subscribed. Visit the Manufacturing North West website for more details and advice.

European Grants

  • Apply to run projects backed by the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF). ESIF includes money from the European Social Fund (ESF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). A number of calls for proposals in different parts of the country can be active at any one time. Visit Regeneration funding for details or visit the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership for more details. 

Rural Funding

Rural Funding: the LEADER scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England and part funded by the EAFRD. The aim of LEADER is to create jobs and help businesses grow to benefit the rural economy.

Grants, mainly for smaller projects, will cover six key priorities:

  • Enterprise
  • Increasing farm productivity
  • Support for rural tourism
  • Provision of rural services
  • Support for cultural/heritage activity
  • Increasing forestry productivity

To see if you are in an eligible area please email or call 01772 538797 or check your postcode

For more information on the scheme please download the Icon for pdf Lancashire rural funding factsheet [4.44MB]. You can also read the latest LEADER newsletter.

Creative Industries

  • The Creative Finance Network is specifically designed to help creatives understand the complexities of finance and help you find the money you need to make your ideas a reality.
  • Locally Creative Lancashire has a section on funding for the creative industry. 
  • Our Events and Cultural Services help arts organisations and individual artists who are based and work in Preston.
  • The Lancashire Forum Creative from the University of Central Lancashire is a business, leadership and innovation development programme designed specifically for Creative and Digital SMEs. To find out more, please email  - call 01772 892858 - or visit the Lancashire Forum Creative website.