First Lancashire groups get helping hand from BIBAs legacy

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Four community groups from across Lancashire are the first to secure more than £7,000 in funding from a charity set up by one of the county’s leading business awards.

The BIBAs Foundation has handed out grants to the East Lancashire Deaf Society, Hyndburn Arts Trust, Red Rose Sports Club and disabled services provider Spring into Action CIC.

The BIBAs has always been about providing a spotlight for the stars of the Lancashire business community to shine in, but the Foundation takes it to a new level.

Tony Raynor

The funding will support projects to give young people, aged 16-24 years old, business skills including running a theatre production company, becoming freelance sports coaches and setting up their own businesses.

The Foundation is backed by £30,000 from the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, generated by the profits of its 2014 awards which celebrate the successes of local firms and individuals.

Tony Raynor, of telecommunications group Abbey Telecom a long-standing sponsor of the BIBAs, said the Foundation was building “a legacy of enterprise”.

He said: “The BIBAs has always been about providing a spotlight for the stars of the Lancashire business community to shine in, but the Foundation takes it to a new level.

“When you look at these first four successful applications, you see exactly how it will work to boost the skills of young people, inspiring them to reach higher than ever before to secure a better future for themselves and our community.

“I cannot wait to see the successes of these projects and see more similar schemes supported by the BIBAs Foundation.”

The four successful applicants were:

• East Lancashire Deaf Society. The Society, which works with young deaf people across the region, has been awarded a grant for its project, Step Up!, which gives deaf youngsters skills to help develop their own businesses.

• Red Rose Sports Club. A Preston-based group which supports people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get involved with sport.

Its project aims to train up youngsters, including NEETs, those not in education, employment or training, to become freelance sports coaches.

• Spring Into Action CIC

Based in the Ribble Valley, the Spring Into Action Community Interest Company (CIC) provides development opportunities for people with disabilities or specialist needs.

• Hyndburn Arts Trust: The Trust, which is based in Oswaldtwistle, provides a cultural venue to provide creative opportunities for people of all ages.

All applicants were selected by the Lancashire Community Foundation, a charity which manages funds set up by groups and philanthropists through the region, which worked with the BIBAs to set up the Foundation.