BUSINESS owners from across Bury turned out in force for a networking event organised by banking giants Barclays.

Despite the inclement weather conditions courtesy of Storm Gareth, more than 90 guests congregated at the Fusiliers Museum on Tuesday morning for the Bury Business Breakfast.

Part of Barclays’ Building Thriving Local Economies initiative and in partnership with Bury Council and The Growth Hub, the town's business community was given practical advice on funding and general business support.

Speakers and guests included Bury Council leader Cllr Rishi Shori, and Andy Horner, head of SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) for Barclays in the North West.

The event included presentations by Barclays, Bury Council and Winning Pitch and was followed by a panel question and answer session.

The panel included representatives from Barclays, Bury Council, Growth Hub, Bury Business Leadership Group, Winning Pitch, Investment Partner Maven, FW Capital, British Business Bank and Angel Investor, Catalyst Management.

Topics discussed ranged from finance and investment to the local employee skills gap.

It was the first in a series of events to be held in Bury to support Barclays’ Building Thriving Local Economies initiative, which launched back in September.

The town was chosen as the first pilot area for the scheme, which seeks to ensure every part of the country can fulfil its potential and better understand how businesses can play a role in helping local economies to thrive.

A further event to support local businesses will be held on April 25.

Andy Horner, head of SME for Barclays in the North West said, said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy and this was loud and clear in Bury this week.

“The good news is that we continue to see strong lending activity, however, some businesses are concerned about the current uncertainty, and our network of relationship managers are here to help them navigate the challenges and opportunities the following months will bring.”

Cllr Shori added: “I was really pleased to be able to speak at the event to discuss the council's ambitious plans for growth centred around improving skills levels, investing directly into schemes to regenerate our townships and providing support to help local businesses expand.

“I am delighted that we are working so closely with Barclays and it's Building Thriving Local Economies initiative which I know will be of great benefit to the borough in the longer term."