Lancashire Forum Creative Project inspired business owners

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More than 200 Lancashire-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been supported by the Lancashire Forum Creative Project at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The Lancashire Forum Creative Project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, was a leadership and business growth programme, tailored to meet the learning and development needs of Lancashire’s creative and digital SMEs. The programme was designed to equip businesses with the necessary confidence, knowledge, and skills to thrive.

Lancashire Forum Creative (LFC) ran a series of interactive, business-focused Think Tank sessions led by industry experts, topics included building resilience, business growth and digital marketing. Also, the project ran six-month, Lancashire Forum Creative EXTRA Programmes for senior managers and SME owners, activities included group sessions, Lego Serious Play and Think Differently Sprints. The programme increased the skills and knowledge of the county’s SME leaders.

The project which ran from May 2017 through to June 2023, has helped 41 jobs to be created, 35 new products and services and led to skills development and increased confidence. Glen Higson from Business Insight 3 shared his experience: “The technique we learned from LFC gave us real clarity in developing new ideas and turning potential problems in the video sector into services that we could then monetise to transform and grow the company."

"The Lancashire Forum Creative events have been engaging, informative and a great chance to take time out to focus on our ways of working."

Matthew Simpson, Forepoint

Matthew Simpson at Forepoint, a creative agency with offices in London and Preston said: ‘’The Lancashire Forum Creative events have been engaging, informative and a great chance to take time out to focus on our ways of working. The sessions provided different perspectives and offered us a renewed sense of focus and direction for the business.”

The pandemic presented a huge challenge for the project, all their events pre-pandemic were in-person and this needed to change. The Lancashire Forum Creative team moved quickly and started delivering online sessions to support businesses at a difficult time, these online sessions proved to be very successful.

The Lancashire Forum Creative Project was delivered by the University of Central Lancashire. Lancaster University was lead and UCLan was a delivery partner.

Whilst this project has closed, the University actively supports regional businesses. Find out more through our Enterprise and Engagement Unit who will review your enquiry and signpost you to the most appropriate area of continuing support.

Case studies

  • person smiling

    Sole Trader Joe Kennedy, owner of For the Floor & More, has recently benefitted from the free support provided by Lancashire Forum Creative.

    Tuesday 21 December 2021
  • person smiling

    Forepoint Ltd, a creative and ideas agency, have embraced some of the fully-funded support on offer from Lancashire Forum Creative.

    Thursday 16 December 2021
  • CWS Creatives employee smiling

    The Lancashire Forum Creative programme has helped give a local business owner the confidence and skills to set up a new membership group for women in creative businesses.

    Thursday 19 December 2019
  • Leona Marsh at Marsh Mill Interiors.

    A Preston businesswoman who makes stunning rustic furniture from reclaimed wood has doubled her sales after receiving business support from UCLan. See more.

    Tuesday 21 January 2020
  • Group of Bi3 employees smiling

    A product development technique acquired during the Lancashire Forum Creative programme is helping local video analytics company Bi3 to flourish.

    Monday 13 January 2020