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Starting Your Business

A range of national and local organisations offer help and advice on starting your business. Listed below are some of the networks operating across Cheshire and Warrington, click on the organisations name to see more information:

Business Start-Up Programme

Startup provides a flexible programme of free* business advice, support and training across Cheshire West and Chester to individuals who are looking to start a new business.

The programme can help to support you with:

- Exploring your business idea

- One to one business advice

- Business Plan Preparation

- Referral to support organisations

- Support once you start training



Tel: 03300 245 007 

For more information view: Cheshire West and Chester Start-Up Flyer


Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Hub

The Cheshire & Warrington Growth Hub delivers business support to new and growing businesses by simplifying access to support, providing locally sourced solutions and making best use of the region’s business assets.
As a First Stop Shop the Growth Hub aims to provide impartial, clear and expert support to help Cheshire and Warrington businesses get the best support and advice.
By understanding the needs of local businesses the Growth Hub aim to improve co-ordination of local business support with national programmes and introduce new services to fill any gaps to help businesses grow.
The Growth Hub aim to deliver the First Stop service by blending access via resources on our web site, telephone support, face to face on-site advice and specialist events.
Most importantly however, the Growth Hub aim to connect local businesses with high quality assistance from local professional service businesses and strategic partners including local government and academia.
The Growth Hub is governed by the Cheshire and Warrington LEP.



Tel: 03300 245007

Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme.

Supporting business growth in Cheshire and Warrington

The Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme provides fully funded support to local businesses in the form of workshops, master classes, one-to-one advice, mentoring and peer-to-peer support.  The programme will help entrepreneurs and SMEs to identify their business priorities and how to move their business forward for growth.  We cover a full range of business activity:

12 hours of fully funded support is available for:

Pre-start: Entrepreneur looking to start a business

New start-up: Trading less than 42 months

SME: Small and medium-sized enterprises trading over 42 months

For full programme details, workshop dates and to register for fully funded support go to:


or email us at:

Connecting Cheshire

Connecting Cheshire Superfast Business is a bespoke, fully funded support package to inspire and transform your business by exploiting the benefits of fibre broadband.

Faster broadband will improve access to products and services: social media, digital marketing and high quality video conferencing allow face-to-face conversation with potential customers across the globe. Cloud based applications and document sharing can be bought on a pay-as-you-go basis and offer the security and flexibility to work anywhere.



Tel: 03001231696

Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington.

What does it do?

1. Offers SMEs in the Cheshire and Warrington area unique access to the resource, excellence and expertise of University of Chester and Lancaster University. An eligibility criteria applies.

2. Provides businesses with the opportunity to be part of a SME structured programme of collaborative R&D interventions and activities.

3. Supports SMEs to innovate and commercialise new low carbon technology products and services.

What are the benefits to me?

1. Tailor made low carbon technology research and innovation projects that could last from 5 weeks to 3 years depending on your business requirements.

2. One to one business support and advice to transform your R&D and commercialise new technology or services.

3. A gateway for your business to connect and benefit from the resource, excellence and expertise of University of Chester and Lancaster University.

The University of Chester is a proud delivery partner of the ERDF funded Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington.

For further information about the programme and how your business could benefit please contact:

Project Manager: Liam Fisher

Tel: 01244512556


Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board. They

fund, support and connect innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

Innovate UK fund, support and connect innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

For further Inforation visit the Innovate UK Website

LEADER Programme

The LEADER programme is a unique source of funding for rural areas across Cheshire and Warrington, and is managed by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

LEADER takes a community-led approach to delivering European funding, with decisions being made by a Local Action Group (LAG) formed of locally-appointed representatives from the private, public and third sectors.

LEADER (a French acronym that translates as ‘Liaisons among actors in the rural economy’) is an EU programme that aims to provide funding for businesses and organisations looking to begin or expand their operations in rural areas. What separates it from other funding programmes is that it is delivered locally rather than nationally, with decisions on how and where the grant money is spent being made by an appointed Local Action Group (LAG) of key representatives from various organisations in the local area.

For more information visit the LEADER Programme website

North West Food Research Development Centre

NoWFOOD is a new state of the art research and development facility located on the Main Campus at the University of Chester, made possible by ERDF and University of Chester funding.

It provides a centre of excellence for food science and technology for producers across the region. As well as encouraging and nurturing small and medium sized food businesses, NoWFOOD will help support the economic growth of the region. With the right expertise, food and drink manufacturers could find new markets, develop new product ideas and hopefully generate employment opportunities within the sector.

We set out to provide a facility that could add value to any food or drink producer by offering hands-on specialist technical support, test kitchens, incubation space for start-ups, sensory testing units, and ongoing business advice. This means that small producers can move away from their kitchens at home into serious, purpose-built facilities. Larger food companies can access exciting new technologies and processes such as our sensory unit for obtaining consumer insights and opinion.


Find Out More:

Riverside Innovation Centre

If your business is open to opportunities, we’re open for business…Riverside Innovation Centre is dedicated to inspiring and developing business potential.

Located on the northern bank of the River Dee in Chester we offer space for business start-ups, access to business support and academic expertise, and flexible conferencing and meeting solutions designed to support your business.



Tel: 01244 515 500

Start Up Now is an official Delivery Partner for the Business Innovation & Skills’ Start Up Loan Initiative. We aim to provide financial support and mentoring to entrepreneurs across the North West of England.

Start Up Now was created by Business Finance Solutions, one of the leading organisations for alternative finance in the North West.
The Start Up Now Scheme was developed to offer a holistic package of start up finance and support for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow their own business.
Loan value ranges from £500 to £25,000, with support prior to the application with developing the business idea and support after receiving the finance for the full term of the loan from one of our professional business mentors.
Business Finance Solutions offers a wide variety of business finance to entrepreneurs, alternative to the mainstream lenders, providing loans of up to £500,000.

Start-Up Support - New Enterprise Allowance Scheme

Jobseekers looking to start their own business can receive support through the NEA scheme. Participents will get free access to a business mentor to develop their business plan and provide support through the early months of trading.


Thornton Science Park - High Growth Centre

The University Of Chester’s High Growth Centre is located at Thornton Science Park and offers a unique blend of industry, innovation and academia.


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