The council came away with the top prize in the ‘Northwest Best Future-Ready’ category at this year’s FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) awards.
It recognised the efforts taken to address areas such as skills gaps, helping high streets adapt to shifting consumer habits, helping local firms on their way to net zero and nurturing future entrepreneurs.
The national awards scheme recognises and celebrates councils that have achieved excellent results through the work they do with small businesses by highlighting outstanding partnerships and projects.
As part of Lancaster City Council’s objective to aim for Net Zero by 2030 and its ‘Housing Retrofit’ action plan, the council has actively engaged with small businesses to ensure they have the skills and information they need to be able to bid for tenders and deliver this work.
As part of the post-Covid recovery work, the council, in partnership with training providers, is working with businesses to offer a range of training to help them develop their business models to adapt to shifting consumer habits and address skills gaps.
This is all part of a programme of future-looking business support, which includes training and education around social value and sustainability. This also extends to young entrepreneurs, recovery sector and future sector support.
The council was also short-listed in two further award categories in recognition of the support offered to local businesses during the pandemic, and for its programme of support on offer on a wider scale including schemes to help high streets and crime reduction.
Councillor Tricia Health, cabinet member with responsibility for Economic Recovery, said: “It’s wonderful to have been recognised for the hard work being done by the council to support small firms and businesses across the district as they ready themselves for the future.
“To not only win this award, but to also be shortlisted for two others, is testament to the initiatives being run in close partnership with organisations and communities to help boost the local economy.”
Paul Foster, FSB’s Development Manager for Lancashire & Cumbria, said: “The judges were hugely impressed by Lancaster City Council’s work.
“We’ve been delighted to work alongside the council on various projects over recent years, and it gives us great pleasure to formally recognise the efforts of the teams at Lancaster City Council with this regional award.”
Last updated: 18 October 2022