Cumbria LEP – package of FREE support for local businesses

The Local Enterprise Partnership in Cumbria (CLEP) is launching a free advice service for business owners in the area. The service is a result of evidence to suggest that businesses with access to support are far more likely to prosper than those who don’t.

The initiative builds on previous business support programmes delivered by CLEP and is the only fully-funded option available across Cumbria. As the funding is only available until March 2024, CLEP are urging businesses to apply as soon as possible.

Titled the Cumbria Accelerator Programme, there are eight organisations working with CLEP to deliver the free support of between three and 12 hours to businesses of any size in any sector.

Advisers cover areas from finance and innovation to sales and marketing support, and even things like adopting new technologies. Plus, expertise is available for those specialising in certain fields.

Paul Foster, CLEP’s head of programmes says:

 “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”.

Hundreds of businesses in Cumbria have already benefited from support from the CLEP including Edmund Wood from Belgrove Rum who 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