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Business and Community Innovation Project


Project Brief

Download a copy of the  Business and Community Innovation Project brief. (PDF) [370KB]  

UKSPF Intervention

E19 - Increasing investment in research and development at the local level. Investment to support the diffusion of innovation knowledge and activities. Support the commercialisation of ideas, encouraging collaboration and accelerating the path to market so that more ideas translate into industrial and commercial practices.

E21 - Funding for the development and support of appropriate innovation infrastructure at the local level. 


Lancashire has well established and recognised strengths in the aerospace, automotive, energy, nuclear, digital and health innovation sectors.  There are strengths in biological sciences, life sciences and healthcare, advanced manufacturing and materials and digital. 

The county is home to leading global businesses at the cutting edge of innovation in advanced manufacturing supported by a supply chain cluster of high-tech small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Protecting, enhancing, and diffusing these strengths across their supply chains and across sectors will be a key feature of the future innovation landscape in Lancashire, and Preston is in a strong position to benefit from this opportunity.  Within the county, Preston as a district has the most enterprises across these sectors located within the local authority boundary.  

In addition, Lancashire's Higher Education (HE) sector, (UCLan, Lancaster University, Edge Hill University and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre NW) have research strengths in STEM subjects including computer science, mathematical science and general engineering.  They provide significant research and consultancy services to local businesses. 

The four HEIs recorded a total income of £26 million from contract research and consultancy services in 2015/16. 

The translational research centres, such as the Engineering Innovation Centre at UCLan in Preston, the Northwest Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Samlesbury and the Lancaster Health Innovation Campus, are catalysts for research development and adoption across the local economy and beyond. 

Access to this wealth of local innovation resource offers Preston the potential to become a globally competitive knowledge cluster within Lancashire, embodying excellence and collaboration by ensuring that innovation in the HE sector feeds through to increased commercialisation and growth in the local economy.  

Preston City Council has committed a significant share of UKSPF funding to invest in projects that will deliver research and development, as well as innovation infrastructure, at the local level.

The funding available combines the delivery of UKSPF interventions E19 and E21. It is anticipated that this investment will align local operational models to support the diffusion of innovation and knowledge and will be informed by cooperative principles which encourage collaboration and accelerate the path to market as innovation is translated into industrial and commercial practices. 

Financial Profile

 CapitalRevenueTotal Expenditure
Year 1 (2023-24)



(E19 - £85,000)

(E21 - £50,000)


Year 2 (2024-25)



(E19 - £220,000)

(E21 - £120,000)






  • E19 - Number of enterprises receiving non-financial support - 25
  • E21 - Number of enterprises receiving non-financial support - 25


  • E19 - Number of new enterprises created as a result of support - 6
  • E19 - Number of enterprises adopting new or improved products or services - 15
  • E19 - Number of new to market products - 6
  • E21 - Jobs created as a result of support - 45
  • E21 - Jobs safeguarded as a result of support - 45

* The output and outcome figures shown are the minimum which Preston City Council expects the available funding to deliver. Applicants applying for the full amount would be expected to meet these targets as a minimum. Where an applicant is applying for a share of the funding, we expect outputs and outcomes to be delivered in proportion to the share applied for.

Project Timeline

  • Date of launch for commissioning - Friday 26 May 2023
  • Deadline for receipt of applications - Friday 30 June 2023 - 17:00
  • Notification of whether applications have been successful - Mid July 2023 (provisional)
  • Issuing of grant agreements, commencement of projects - End July 2023 (provisional)
  • Project end - 31 March 2025

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