Business advice and support

We believe Chorley is a great place to do business. Economic Development is one of the Council’s main priorities as we seek to develop a strong local economy and a place where businesses can flourish. We are here to help and make sure that you get all the support you need, whether it's realising your start up, location, expansion or new investment.

We have a dedicated business support team in place to ensure businesses and developers get all the support they need, using our contacts, local knowledge and advice alongside a warm welcome from the Leader, the MP and the Council’s Chief Executive. Your move to Chorley or your business expansion if you are already in the area could also attract financial support in the form of grants or access to other sources of funding from partner organisations. ​There's lots of information on these pages about what we can offer. You can also check out our inward investment website at choosechorley.co.uk.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Support for Digital & Creative Businesses 

    Digital Creative 

    Are you a Lancashire SME, start-up or entrepreneur within the digital and creative sector? 

    We can help your company to get started or grow with advice, practical help, workshops, research or through collaboration at The Strawberry Fields Digital Hub. 

    Digital Creative is a fully funded ERDF project delivered by Chorley Council, which will help entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing SMEs in Lancashire, who trade or intend to trade business-to-business, to grow their creative or digital business. 

    For further information visit strawberryfieldshub.com/digitalcreative, contact 01257 515295 or email edu@chorley.co.uk.

    Strawberry Fields Digital Hub 

    Chorley's £8.4m Strawberry Fields Digital Hub is nearing completion and will offer 3,700 sq m (40,000 sq ft) of state of the art office space for digital and creative businesses. The Digital Hub will offer a variety of accommodation from hot-desking and micro-pods to micro offices and larger office suites.

    In close proximity to junction 8 of the M61, Strawberry Fields is the perfect location for your new or existing business. In addition, you will also benefit from having access to an onsite business advisor and support, university advisor and high speed data connection.

    For further information visit strawberryfieldshub.com, contact 01257 515295 or email edu@chorley.gov.uk​.

  • Choose Chorley

    Whether you're looking for support to grow your new or existing Chorley business, or searching for premises in Chorley to relocate your business - the Business Engagement team should be your first point of contact. 

    Chorley Council has a dedicated Business Engagement team who undertake a range of activities to help support and develop a strong local economy. As well as support provided direct from Chorley Council, the Business Engagement team work with a number of partners who also deliver a number of business support grants, funding, workshops, events and programmes to enable your business growth.

    For further information visit choosechorley.co.uk, email edu@chorley.gov.uk or call 01257 515400.

  • Start Your Business

    If you are looking for support to start your business, your first point of contact should be the Council's Business Engagement team. They will be able to discuss your business needs and identify the best way forward based on support available from partners and Chorley Council.

    If you would like to discuss your start up plans and learn about what support is available, please contact the Council's Business Engagement team on 01257 515400 or email edu@chorley.gov.uk.

    Start Up Loans 
    Start Up Loans is a UK-wide government backed scheme which offers a repayable loan to individuals over the age of 18 who have a viable business idea but no access to finance. The scheme funds businesses in every sector. As well as financial backing all loan recipients are given access to a mentor, free training events and exclusive business offers. Loans are available from £250, but the amount you can borrow will be determined by your business plan. 

    GOV.UK
    The GOV.UK website provides you with step-by-step process of what you need to do to set up a business, along with a business plan template.

    School for Social Entrepreneurs
    School for Social Entrepreneurs is a charity that helps individuals to develop your social enterprise or charity. School for Social Entrepreneurs provide practical learning programmes and courses to support you on your journey.  

    Support for Social Entrepreneurs
    Shared Future CIC is a social enterprise who aims to support other social enterprises and encourage participation and engagement in the community. 

  • Grow Your Business

    If you are looking for support to grow your business, your first point of contact should be the Council's Business Engagement team. They will be able to discuss your business needs and identify the best way forward based on business support available from partners and Chorley Council. 

    If you would like to discuss your business growth plans and learn about what support is available, please contact the Council's Business Engagement team on 01257 515400 or email edu@chorley.gov.uk.
    Business support available from Chorley Council

    Shop Front Improvement Grant
    The Shop Front Improvement Grant is available for comprehensive visual improvements to the frontage of a VACANT retail property. The property must be in the designated Chorley town centre boundary or within one of the borough’s designated local retail centres. A business (or the property landlord) can apply for up to 75% of the total eligible project net costs up to a maximum of £10,000 grant. Download the guidance note and application form for further information.

    Chorley Business Investment for Growth (BIG) Grant
    The Chorley BIG grant can be used to support eligible, expanding Chorley businesses making capital expenditure and creating new jobs. The grant can contribute to the construction of new buildings; the refurbishment/adaptation of existing business premises; site engineering works; signage; hard/soft landscaping and security improvements. Businesses can apply for 50% of the total eligible project costs, with a maximum grant of up to £10,000. Grants will be based on £2,000 per job created. Download the guidance note and application form for further information.

    Choose Chorley Relocation Grant
    The Choose Chorley Relocation Grant is to help attract inward investors to the borough, create sustainable local employment and strengthen local supply chains. It is aimed at existing businesses (not new starts) permanently relocating to Chorley from outside of the borough, generating at least 20 sustainable jobs within 18 months of establishing their base. Grants are available up to a maximum of £25,000 (minimum £1,250 per job). The grant is not available retrospectively and retail businesses are not eligible.

    Please note, all Chorley Council grants are offered on a first come, first served basis, and cannot be offered retrospectively. Businesses are advised to contact Chorley Council's Business Engagement team to discuss any potential applications at the earliest opportunity.

    Business support available from Partners

    The Start Up Loans
    Start Up Loans is a UK-wide government backed scheme which offers a repayable loan to individuals over the age of 18 who have a viable business idea but no access to finance. The scheme funds businesses in every sector. As well as financial backing all loan recipients are given access to a mentor, free training events and exclusive business offers. Loans are available from £250, but the amount you can borrow will be determined by your business plan.

    Rosebud Business Finance
    Get fast, flexible finance, from £10,000 to over £1 million. Lancashire County Council is looking for ambitious growing businesses to support. Rosebud Micro provides finance from £10,000 to £49,000, while Rosebud Business Finance provides funding from £50,000, along with a package of customised business support and advice. Rosebud is looking to support growing businesses in the following high growth business sectors: advance manufacturing; aerospace; finance and professional; creative & digital; energy & environment; health.

    Access to Finance
    Businesses looking for finance, whether for the first time or after they have been declined by a lender, can receive free and impartial advice from Access to Finance. Services the team provide include an assessment of your financial position and funding requirements, assistance with the development of a business plan, coaching and mentoring to develop an investment proposition, introductions to suitable finance providers, and support at meetings with lenders and investors.

    Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund 
    The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund offers three different funding options designed to plug gaps in the provision of commercially available finance, ranging from £25,000 loans to £2million equity investments. 

    Funding options include:
    •Small business loans, £25,000-£100,000: For new or growing businesses to support working capital needs
    •Business loans, £100,000-£750,000: For early stage or more established businesses that can demonstrate growth potential
    •​Early stage and later stage equity funding, £50,000-£2million: For start-ups or more established businesses with high growth potential. 

    Your local bank
    Banks can offer practical solutions and a range of products to support your business; whether it is business growth or asset purchases, your bank could potentially help you to secure vital 'match funding' for other funding programmes. Banks have access to a range of services, including the British Business Bank's Enterprise Finance Guarantee.

    Business promotion opportunities 
    Pitch your business for free in the town centre! This enables Chorley based businesses to have a town centre presence to promote their products and services on our 'Business Showcase' pitch. It is located adjacent to the market on Cleveland Street and could be available weekdays. Contact the Council for further information and availability. 

    Taking advantage of the footfall in Chorley's popular covered market, the Council can offer free advertising space for your A4 posters or A5 leaflets. Space can be allocated in three month blocks and is offered on a first come first served basis.

  • Business Events

    We facilitate and deliver a range of dynamic business workshops, events and seminars. To find out about scheduled events, download our Business Events Calendar.

    Choose Chorley Business Network
    A number of free Choose Chorley business networking events are delivered throughout the year, which aims at encouraging the businesses of Chorley and the surrounding area to connect and investigate the possibilities of how they might work together. It is also a forum to help businesses keep abreast of developments in Chorley. The events are open to any Chorley business, and also to businesses from outside the Borough who have an interest in doing business in Chorley.

    For further information contact the Business Engagement Team on 01257 515400, email edu@chorley.gov.uk or visit choosechorley.co.uk​.

    Central Lancashire Business Event
    This is an annual business networking and learning event organised jointly by Chorley, South Ribble and Preston Councils in October each year. The events are free and provide the opportunity for business networking, as well as hearing from key guest speakers on topical subjects.

    For further information contact the Business Engagement Team on 01257 515400, email edu@chorley.gov.uk or visit centrallancashirebusinessevents.co.uk

  • Sites and Premises 

    You want to do business and Chorley is the place to make it happen! Fast becoming the economic heartbeat of the North West, Chorley offers fabulous business opportunities, brilliant transport links and a fantastic quality of life. We maintain a Chorley land and property database where you can search for sites and premises in Chorley which are available to let or for sale. Check out our inward investment website at www.choosechorley.co.uk. We have a track record of delivering a range of prestigious redevelopment projects. Buckshaw Village comprises 420 acres/169 hectares of the former Royal Ordnance Factory and is one of the largest mixed use schemes to be undertaken in the north west. The area has been transformed, with the high quality Revolution Park hosting strategically important distribution centres serving the north of England and beyond. As we enter a new phase of employment growth more development sites are shortly to come on stream, such as the Digital Office Park and the Market Walk Shopping Centre extension.

    Strawberry Fields Digital Hub, Chorley
    Chorley’s £8.4m advanced Digital Office Park will offer 54,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art office space providing hundreds of high value jobs at Euxton Lane. The Council secured in excess of £4.1m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards the cost of the scheme, and the site enabling works have already commenced for a projected May 2019 building completion.

    Interest is already high in this prestigious Digital Hub which will have the super-speed broadband capacity vital for advanced digital businesses. The accommodation available will range from hot desks, innovation pods, micro offices through to larger office suites and flexible lease terms will allow for business upsizing within the Hub. The bespoke layout is designed to encourage business collaboration, with access to networking areas, board rooms, meeting rooms and presentation facilities. Business advisors and university researchers will be on site to maximise the opportunities for business growth and development.
       
    Strawberry Fields will be one of the most advanced environmentally friendly buildings in Lancashire and has been designed to a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating.
     
    Click on this link to see the fly-through animation of the office development on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXibmYk3U9g​

    For further information please contact Choose Chorley on 01257 515400.

    Buckshaw Village Office Park
    This will comprise five new 3 storey Grade A individual office buildings of 21,200 sq ft and 33,950 sq ft. These will be constructed by Orbit Developments in a landscaped environment adjacent to Buckshaw Parkway railway station. There is the option of bespoke internal fit-out, making it ideal for growing companies looking to relocate or set up satellite offices in the area.

    Coming soon – land at East A49
    Benefiting from good motorway access to the north, south and east of Lancashire, the 37 acre/15 hectare site offers flexible employment space from office incubation to business growth options.

    Botany Bay Development Opportunity
    This highly accessible site situated on junction 8 of the M61 is being master-planned and includes 49 acres/20 hectares for employment uses. The potential is not only for B1, B2 and B8 uses, but also for retail, leisure and residential. The Council is working with landowners and developers to realise the commercial potential of this prime site. Directly adjacent is Gale Moss which has the potential to provide a further 17 acres/6.9 hectares of development land.

    An expanding Chorley town centre
    Investment in Chorley in recent years has seen the creation of​ a vibrant town centre with high levels of shop occupancy and major environmental improvements. More developments are planned, such as a new civic square. Market Walk Shopping Centre was purchased by the Council in 2013 to drive forward the development of this key retail asset. An exciting new extension will commence in 2017 to provide 3 large retail units, a first floor cinema and 3 food and beverage units. These will sit alongside the 34 units in the existing 100,000 sq ft Market Walk Centre which will be refurbished to complete the new look.

    Add this to our reinvigorated markets, and Chorley is fast becoming the envy of others - a historic market town where people can enjoy a wealth of stores and attractions to rival neighbouring cities and shopping centres in the North West.

  • Chorley Town Centre Team

    Chorley Council administers a Town Centre Team which is a single representative forum for the various strategic and operational interests in the town centre. The partnership meets bi-monthly and is instrumental in supporting the delivery of the Economic Regeneration Strategy.

    If you wish to have an input, or receive feedback following the meetings, please contact your most appropriate representative from the list of members below:

    Public Sector

    • MP for Chorley - Rt. Hon. Lindsay Hoyle
    • Leader of Chorley Council - Cllr Alistair Bradley
    • Deputy Leader (VICE CHAIR) - Cllr Peter Wilson
    • Town Centre Champion (CHAIR) - Cllr Danny Gee
    • Councillor (Astley and Buckshaw) - Cllr Matthew Lynch
    • Councillor (Eccleston and Mawdesley) - Cllr Martin Boardman
    • Councillor Tommy Gray
    • County Councillor (Chorley West) - Cllr Steven Hallgate
    • County Councillor Bev Murray
    • County Councillor Keith Iddon (Exec Member Highways)
    • Chief Executive of Chorley Council – Gary Hall
    • Market Walk, Markets & Town Centre Manager - Conrad Heald
    • Chorley Police - Inspector Alison Banff-Lewis
    • Business Watch - Lynn Wareing (Watch Liaison Officer)

    Private Sector
    • Commerce – Chorley Chamber of Trade - Peter Gilkes (Gilkes & Company)
    • Small Retailers - Chorley Traders Alliance - Malcolm Allen (Malcolm’s Musicland)
    • Large Retailers –
    • Market Walk - Deborah Leeson (Boots)
    • Totally Locally – Victoria Garside
    • Market Steering Group – Steven Goodall
    • Licensed Trade - Peter Verhaege (AppleJax)
    • Finance - Fiona Pilkington (RBS)
    • Evening Economy - Ian Robinson (Chorley Little Theatre)
    • Leisure - Gala Bingo – Caroline Norton
    • Transport – Nathan Ward (Stagecoach)
    • Taxi Drivers – Anthony Price

    VCF Sector
    • Arts & Young People - Michelle Graham (Arts Partnership)
    • Chorley VCFS – Jackie Heywood (Volunteering Academy)
    • Chorley in Bloom – Iris Smith

  • Employment Support

    Chorley Employment Charter
    The Chorley Employment Charter aims to assist local businesses to recruit the right people and help local residents find the right jobs. The Charter Partners will work with new investors and will tailor-make a package of support to meet their employment​ needs.

    Employment Task Force
    The Employment Taskforce is a group of more than 20 employment, support and training organisations across central Lancashire, which works collectively to coordinate local responses to new recruitment and employability opportunities.

    Runshaw College Apprenticeships 
    If you are a business with an apprenticeship need, or are a potential apprentice looking for an apprenticeship opportunity contact Runshaw College from the Useful Links opposite. 

  • Chorley Business Guide and itslocalchorley on-line business directory

    The Chorley Business Guide gives an overview of the key business sectors in Chorley with case studies of a range of businesses that have chosen Chorley as their business base. You can easily access the Business Guide from the ‘Download It’ link on this homepage and perhaps consider advertising in the next edition in 12-18 months as a way of further promoting your business.

    A key new promotional channel to accompany the Business Guide is the itslocalchorley on-line business directory. Chorley Council is proud to be delivering this new interactive service for Chorley businesses, connecting them with local customers, free of charge, and keeping trade inside the local economy. The directory is fully integrated with Google maps, directions and streetview, and has direct links to company websites, including social media links.

    To create your own free entry or review an existing entry, you can access the link from the ‘Download It’ section of this homepage, or go to www.itslocalchorley.co.uk​ and click on the ‘Add Company’ link. The web-app can also be accessed from mobiles and tablets by texting ‘4Chorley’ to 88802 and following the response link.​

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