Lancashire County Council’s Rosebud Fund, which invests between £10,000 and £300,000 in businesses across the region, has reached a lending milestone of £2m.

Since GC Business Finance was appointed to deliver the fund in July 2019, Rosebud has made 16 investments which have enabled businesses across Lancashire to expand and has directly resulted in the creation of over 100 new jobs.

The £11.25m Fund is aiming to create in excess of 100 jobs per year across 12 local authority areas in Lancashire. It focuses on sectors such as aerospace; advanced manufacturing; digital and creative; energy and environment; health innovation; and financial and professional services.

The fund has recently invested £80,000 into Chorley-based chartered financial planners, True Bearing. The business, which operates across the UK, received its third tranche of Rosebud funding earlier this year to enable the purchase of a small independent firm. The acquisition, made possible with the funding from Rosebud, has allowed True Bearing to increase its turnover which will allow it to create over 20 jobs in the next four years.

The firm first received Rosebud funding in 2013 when it had a turnover of £1.3m. The funding over the last seven years from Rosebud has enabled the business to quadruple its turnover in this time. Following the most recent investment, the company is aiming to achieve revenues of £10m by 2024.

Preston-based Blue Wren has also recently received funding from Rosebud. The company specialises in creating software to help other firms improve their processes and productivity, building applications such as CRM systems, client management systems and financial tracking systems. Blue Wren, which caters mainly for the SME market, used the investment for product development – creating its own platform to be able to build bespoke software applications in a quicker and more cost-effective way for its customers.

Matt Robinson, Fund Manager at Rosebud said: “The Rosebud fund exists to support the local Lancashire region, creating jobs and supporting thriving sectors such as health innovation and creative and digital. It’s fantastic to see the fund reach this milestone, which highlights the extraordinary work of local businesses and the effect that the fund has had in enabling their growth. We are still open for business, and we are looking to work with more ambitious companies across Lancashire to ensure the region remains prosperous.”

Amin Vepari, Rosebud Programme Manager, Lancashire County Council, said: “Rosebud has made significant progress throughout this past year and it’s encouraging to see the impact it has had on businesses in Lancashire. The fund plays a crucial role in enabling job creation, growth and innovation across the region, and it is vital that businesses continue to tap into funding, as well as advice services through Boost Lancashire, to enable long-term growth.”

Michael Lough, Managing Director at Blue Wren said: “When we approached Rosebud with our business plan and vision, they recognised its potential and supported us from the outset. The funding has enabled us to both pivot and scale our business in a way that supports local employment and technical innovation. We were recently recognised as Lancashire’s Digital Business of the Year at the Red Rose Awards, which is in no small part due to the support and funding we received from Rosebud to help us realise our goals. If you are an ambitious business in Lancashire, then Rosebud is an excellent partner.”

Businesses interested in applying for Rosebud finance can do so via www.rosebudfinance.co.uk. Applications for finance will be considered from businesses based in the administrative area of Lancashire County Council.