Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2022

Select a section to expand and explore this year's review..



57 scaleups supported by Two Zero programmes

47% of Two Zero participants were female-led

97% of Two Zero alumni scaleups grew 20%+ in both revenue and job creation

182 new jobs created by Two Zero alumni scaleups

194 scaleups supported by Boost Business Lancashire achieving 27% average turnover growth and 21% average employment growth

22 – 40% average growth rate following the Innovation Sprint Programme


Lancashire LEP works closely with local authorities to create and maintain a centralised business support ecosystem. Scaleup support is centred around its Two Zero delivery model, based on focused, specialist interventions. 

Building cohorts of scaleups, adding to them in a phased way over time and maintaining relationships throughout the scaling journey has been central to Lancashire’s approach. This focus on smaller, specialist groups will continue as the LEP and County Council develops its scaleup support and moves towards an active account management service that blends general and specialist support with clear action plans for each business. 

Key clusters in the region include food and drink, low carbon, manufacturing, aerospace and family businesses. Access to growth capital continues to be a core challenge for local scaleups, including dynamics of  increased borrowing costs. In response the County Council and LEP are working with the Growth Company, investment partners and funders to create a financial ecosystem supporting scale and growth.

ONS data for 2020 shows that there are 660 scaleups in the Lancashire LEP: 260 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their employees, 550 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their turnover and 150 are scaleups that are increasing both employment and turnover simultaneously.

The ONS data reflects that across the four-year period from 2017 to 2020 the density of scaleups has decreased by -3.37 per 100,000 of population per year.


Two Zero offers transformational support to scaling businesses delivered by expert scaleup advisers. Designed to stretch leaders’ thinking and give businesses a platform for growth, it blends one to one advice with education and peer-to-peer learning.

Launched in 2019, Two Zero provides a suite of support through a dedicated scaleup platform for businesses aspiring to grow 20% year-on-year. It currently includes three specialist programmes:

  • The Scaleup Leaders Network, which builds on the established scaleup support model used in Two Zero’s highly successful Scaleup Resurgence programme, is a targeted programme that helps cohorts of 15 scaleup leaders accelerate expansion through sustained growth coaching and peer-to-peer learning. Delivered by business growth consultancy Cube Thinking the programme also includes scaleup masterclasses focusing on key growth drivers including strategy, accessing finance and ESG. Growth strategies are reviewed via quarterly performance clinics.
  • Women Scaling Up is a six to nine month programme that equips female entrepreneurs with the tools, training, experiences and knowledge to scale their business. Cohorts of 12 female leaders benefit from one to one coaching support and peer learning. The programme covers profiling, leadership coaching and goal setting as well industry specific mentoring to help participants build robust strategies for growth. Six months of intensive support is followed by a year of bimonthly support sessions.
  • Scale to Sale  – in collaboration with Sales Geek – is helping scaleup owners develop their proposition, sales strategy, brand and finances while planning for their future so they are attractive to investors and investees. This six-month programme combines one to one coaching, expert support and mentoring.

The Growth Hub’s Boost Bespoke programme: supports the local pipeline of scaling businesses with the drive to achieve growth over 20% per annum. Boost helps break down key barriers to scaling by supporting businesses to develop and build an effective senior management team, attract talent and access new markets. Support is delivered through a blend of one to one coaching, peer learning and dedicated growth workshops. 

The Edge Hill University Productivity & Innovation Centre provides innovation support and advisory services to Lancashire and Liverpool City Region based early-stage and scaling businesses. As part of their support, the three-month Innovation Sprint Programme addresses challenges to growth and helps scaleups develop financially feasible solutions by focusing on product and service innovation. 

Launched in March 2022, the Lancashire Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing (AEM) Watchtower Programme is a 2 year £1 million initiative supporting Lancashire-based Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing Companies to overcome economic impacts of Covid-19, innovate and help them scale up. The programme offers tailored, coordinated business advice & support including finding new contracts nationally and internationally, accessing growth opportunities, identifying skills and knowledge gaps, support to innovate and diversify and help to engage with the right level of business support at the right phase.

There are also a range of more public and private programmes across the North West region – find out more on the scaleup support finder here


Since its launch in 2019 Two Zero has delivered five scaleup programmes supporting 57 local scaleups with 47% of them being female-led.  A further group of 40 scaleups is now engaged in this intensive model. Past participants have created 182 new jobs and achieved an average growth rate of 33 percent in turnover, while 97 percent of alumni noted average growth of more than 20% in both revenue and employment. The programme accepts referrals from the local Growth Hub, while it has referred participants to access additional support offered by the British Business Bank, Innovate UK, Goldman Sachs and other national and local ecosystem support. 

Boost Business Lancashire has supported 194 scaling businesses that have gone on to achieve 27 per cent average turnover growth and 21 per cent average employment growth following completion of the programme. As with Two Zero participants are supported with their continuity growth journey through curated referrals to further support.

Over 190 early stage and scaling businesses have benefited from Productivity & Innovation Centre support to address their growth and scaleup challenges and opportunities and to develop financially feasible solutions. These have launched over 100 new products and services and created more than 410 new jobs. On average, businesses who complete the Innovation Sprint programme and stick to their growth action plan achieve between 22 – 40% growth.


Lancashire LEP is carrying out detailed analysis of services to understand impact and future need. It is looking to develop a framework of opportunities for businesses that will be available next year with scale a key focus. Skills gaps present a major challenge to businesses with scale potential. 


Doing more at pace and at scale will be a key focus for Lancashire along with simplifying the businesses support ecosystem, ensuring it is carefully aligned with business needs. This will take the form of blended specialist support tailored to business phase and with a focus on the low carbon, manufacturing and engineering and creative sectors. In addition, more work is planned with social enterprise scaleups in partnership with specialist provider Selnet and the LEP is planning to work with specialists at the Chambers of Commerce to develop a framework programme aimed at green tech businesses.


According to ScaleUp Institute analysis of data received directly from ONS for years 2017-2020, the following picture emerges on the local environment.

Local Authorities located within the Lancashire LEP have a moderate-low density of scaleups, and the trend between 2017 and 2020 reveals that few of the local authorities showed an increase in the density of scaleup businesses, but few showed an above median increase in scaleup density.

Scaleups by Density: Moderate

The vertical axis of this matrix shows where local authorities located in this LEP stand compared to the rest of the UK: 10 of the 14 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by employment growth and 8 of the 14 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by turnover growth.

Scaleup Trends Over Time: Mixed

The horizontal axis of this matrix shows whether the density of scaleups has increased or decreased over time relative to the rest of the UK: 10 of the 14 local authorities are above the median in terms of improving the density of scaleups by employment in their community and 11 of the 14 local authorities are below the median for scaleups by turnover.

The ScaleUp Institute will continue to monitor this closely in the coming years to track whether local initiatives move the dial in the right direction for increasing the density of scaleups.

Previous Greater Manchester
Next Liverpool City Region