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Rosebud Finance, which provides finance to support growing businesses in Lancashire, invested £1.6m and helped to create more than 50 jobs in the year to the end of March 2014.

Lancashire County Council’s Rosebud Finance invested six-figure sums in 11 businesses during the year – and helped them to secure a total of £7.1m in additional funding from other investors.

In addition to creating new jobs, Rosebud also helped to safeguard a further 180 jobs.

Key Rosebud investments in the past 12 months include Centaur Technologies, a Leyland company which offers a range of innovative roofing products; Lancaster-based Azullo, which has developed a sophisticated online advertising platform; and FDM Digital Solutions, a Burnley company pioneering the use of 3D printing to produce items as diverse as parts for F1 cars to bespoke insoles for the NHS.

Other investments include a digital game designer, a bookings website, an IT/telecoms company and a firm of architects.

Rosebud is a finance package supporting Lancashire firms to grow and expand their business. It is managed by Enterprise Ventures, on behalf of Lancashire County Developments Ltd (LCDL) – the county council’s economic development company.

Paul Taberner of Enterprise Ventures said: “Rosebud is playing an important part in helping Lancashire to build its economy in high growth sectors such as aerospace and advanced manufacturing, creative and digital, energy and environmental technology, and financial and professional services. At a time when SMEs have been struggling to access finance for growth, Rosebud’s support has been critical.”

County Councillor Niki Penney, Chair of LCDL, said: “Our approach with Rosebud involves targeting our support at fewer companies, but with larger sums of money.

“This is enabling companies right here in Lancashire to create skilled jobs and new growth. As we’ve seen over the last year, it’s working well and we’re seeing the positive impact of this approach across the county.”