New leaders set to champion Cumbria’s businesses

Two Cumbrian business leaders are set to champion the county’s businesses having been appointed to key roles on the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Mark Brook, of world-leading engineering company James Walker, has been appointed to the LEP Board. As Manufacturing Director of the Cockermouth-based company, he brings to the organisation significant experience of the challenges facing manufacturers in the energy, aerospace, biopharmaceutical, defence and nuclear sectors.

New Board Director Emma-lea Dalton, an entrepreneur and director of three successful small businesses, was also appointed by the Board as its new SME Champion.

Taking over from Janett Walker, Emma-lea will provide a strong voice for Cumbria’s small and medium businesses, making sure that their voices are heard and providing a platform to support them to maximise opportunities and address challenges. She will also provide valuable insights and ideas to help business thrive in Cumbria.

Lord Inglewood, Chair of the Cumbria LEP, said:

“I’m really looking forward to working with both Emma-lea and Mark. This is a crucial period for Cumbria’s economy and our business community, it will be fantastic to be able to draw upon their knowledge and experience of our newest board member and our new SME Champion, as we move into the new year and help take forward Cumbria’s economy.

“Having a broad range of experience and perspectives is crucial in helping to navigate many important issues. As we look ahead, SMEs and local businesses will increasingly generate the job opportunities of tomorrow and the innovation needed to build a stronger and more sustainable economy.

Mark Brook, Manufacturing Director at James Walker and Cumbria LEP Board Member, said: 

“I am honoured and proud to be appointed to the LEP Board to represent the Advanced Manufacturing sector within Cumbria.  We have world leading businesses in Cumbria, from large corporations to SME’s and sole traders, and through collaboration and engagement these provide opportunities for growth, employment, career and skills development across the county.

“I look forward to working with other businesses to share learning and experience in skills development, energy savings including decarbonisation, productivity gains through continual improvement and Industry 4.0. best practices.”

Emma-lea Dalton, Entrepreneur, Director at Brizzolaris Bar, MKO Properties and My Kind of Clean and Cumbria LEP Board Member and SME Champion, said:

“I feel honoured that the Cumbria LEP Board has appointed me to become SME Champion and help support our SMEs at a difficult time.

“I am looking forward to speaking to other local business owners to review their current challenges, their growth plans and their vision for the future, in a world that is currently very uncertain. I very much want to support our SME’s to achieve their goals.”


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