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The boss of a fifth generation bespoke timber frames firm said without the help of the Lancashire Business Growth Fund, his business could have closed.

Sanderson Bros in Inglewhite, just outside Preston, has been in the family since it opened in Silk Mill Lane back in 1898.

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And the firm has just secured a £30,000 grant from the Fund, which comes from the Regional Growth Fund, as part of a major investment in a new building.

But the grant wasn’t the first time company boss Ian Sanderson had accessed cash from the Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Sanderson said: “Two-and-a-half years ago we got a grant of £32,000 towards a new Windowline machine – the first of its size in the UK – which saw us go from five staff to 10.

“But after receiving a complaint about the noise generated by the machine, we have had to look at yet more investment to combat this.”

Mr Sanderson will use the grant to build a new building to recycle the air and reduce noise, which will house an architects’ meeting room, showroom, a new wood processing area and more new machinery.

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The investment, the remainder of which has been funded through business loans, will create a further three jobs at the firm.

Mr Sanderson said: “This investment will help us to attract bigger jobs, improve our health and safety compliance, streamline wood processing which does tend to bottleneck at the moment and, through a new extraction facility help us to reduce dust.

Mr Sanderson added: “My son has recently come on board as an apprentice and, to be honest, without him and without the grant from the Lancashire Business Growth Fund we probably wouldn’t have made this investment and the business may well not have been able to continue.

“The Chamber has been very helpful. I cannot speak highly enough of all the people who have helped with the grant.”

The Regional Growth Fund-supported Lancashire Business Growth Fund is a programme offering capital investment grants and international trade support to businesses across the county.

The programme has been launched by the county’s two accredited chambers of commerce – East Lancashire and North and Western Lancashire – in partnership with Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, and is intended to create 600 new jobs and safeguard a further 200.

Its key aim is to accelerate the creation of sustainable jobs by encouraging companies to bring forward growth projects on a bigger scale with a larger impact at a time when those jobs are most needed.

Businesses bidding for grants from the scheme can claim up to 20 per cent of the total project costs, with the remaining costs leveraged from the bank or investment.

To be eligible for the programme, projects must involve the acquisition of new premises, infrastructure, machinery, expansion, or another suitable form of capital investment.

Businesses are also required to demonstrate how many jobs will be created through the project in order to be accepted on to the scheme.