Cumbria LEP – unique package of FREE support for local businesses to tap into

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) is launching a FREE advice service for business owners based in Cumbria. It’s in response to evidence suggesting businesses which access support are far more likely to prosper than those that don’t.

This initiative builds on previous business support programmes delivered by CLEP and is currently the only fully-funded option available across Cumbria. CLEP strongly urges businesses to apply as soon as possible as the funding for the initiative is only guaranteed to be available until the end of March (2024).

Eight organisations are working with CLEP to deliver the new Cumbria Accelerator programme, which provides between three to 12 hours of FREE support to Cumbrian businesses of any size, working in any sector.

The advisers cover many areas, from finance and innovation to sales and marketing support, through to adopting new technologies. Expertise is also on hand from those specialising in particular sectors as Paul Foster, CLEP’s Head of Programmes explains:

“Our advisors come from a variety of backgrounds and have expertise in different sectors. So, whatever your business you will have the opportunity to work with an adviser, who is approachable, knowledgeable and well-connected and who will help you to tackle your business issues and get you firmly on the road to success.

“Currently this is the only free support available to businesses in Cumbria. As places are limited, I would strongly encourage businesses to get in touch to access this.

“Evidence suggests that businesses which access support are more likely to prosper than those which don’t. The Cumbria Accelerator programme will no doubt be a huge boost to those businesses that engage and access the support on offer”, adds Paul.

Hundreds of Cumbrian businesses have already benefited from support the CLEP provides including Edmund Wood from Cartmel based Belgrove Rum. He said: “As a small business it’s incredibly important to have a group of trusted advisers who give you support, and the CLEP has added another string to our bow; excellent local knowledge, connections, grant advice – anything you need they’ll either know it or be able to point you in the right direction.”

Nic Cassley, Business Advisor at Phil Collier Associates worked with Claire Needham of Boss Hair and Beauty, Barrow. Claire said:

“We had a business support session with Nic from Phil Collier Associates, funded by Cumbria LEP.  Having an external advisor review our business with us really helped us to understand things that were working well and identify areas for development.  The advice on the next steps to take and signposting further support was invaluable.”

The eight organisations working with Cumbria LEP to deliver the Cumbria Accelerator programme are:

  1. AJ Lakes Consultancy and Training
  2. Thomas Jardine & Co
  3. Cumbria Chamber of Commerce
  4. Phil Collier Associates
  5. The Hospitality Counsellor
  6. The Farmer Network
  7. The Growing Club
  8. CBASS

Anyone interested in finding out more should visit Cumbria LEP’s website or email

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