Two Zero programme launched to help Lancashire scaleups gain major retail contracts

A first of its kind programme has been launched across Lancashire aimed at helping the county’s fastest growing food and drink businesses to target contracts with national retailers.

Route Into Retail is a partnership between Lancashire’s public sector backed scaleup brand, Two Zero, and Wynne Business, a Lancashire-based retail sales consultancy specialising in helping food and drink companies sell to major UK retailers.

Wynne Business works with national names such as Tesco, The Co-Operative and Waitrose and the programme, which usually costs £1,995 will be 75% funded by Lancashire County Council through Two Zero, with businesses asked to contribute the remaining £495.

Two Zero is a public sector business support initiative for Lancashire scaleup businesses. It provides support programmes for leaders of fast-growing businesses, creates communities of scaleup businesses and works with national bodies to ensure Lancashire’s voice is heard in the national scaleup agenda.

County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, Lancashire County Council, said: “Lancashire County Council launched Two Zero in January 2020 and last year led a number of fully-funded programmes to help Lancashire’s scaleup business community continue to grow despite the challenges Covid-19 brought.

“This year, we want to forge even stronger links with Lancashire’s private sector expertise. Providing Lancashire businesses with access to targeted support to gain contracts with major retailers will help these companies accelerate their growth.

“This partnership will give food and drink firms the knowledge and confidence to do that.”

The programme, which is now open for applications, will begin in May with 10-12 businesses selected to take part.

It will include a series of focused workshops, mentoring and peer sessions to help food and drink firms develop their USP, define their pitch and improve their marketing and sales strategy to help them sell to major retail buyers.

Suzi Wynne, managing director, Wynne Business, said: “Lancashire has a thriving food and drink sector with some of the UK’s best growing businesses. Through my experience working with the UK’s major retailers I have developed and honed a formula which will help these firms to grow by reaching their next natural step.

“This partnership with Two Zero will give access to this formula and help these firms achieve their ambition for a fraction of the usual cost.”

Businesses can find out more about Route Into Retail, including eligibility criteria, and apply via the Route Into Retail programme page.

Applications will close on March 31.

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