Two new services to enhance support through Cumbria Business Growth Hub

Last week saw the launch of two new services, both enhancing the support available to Cumbria’s SMEs through Cumbria Business Growth Hub.

Cumbria Business Growth Hub now offers an Access to Finance and a Workforce Development service. Both services will offer support to established businesses as well as start-ups through Cumbria Business Growth Hub and our Business Start-Up Support programme.

Through the Access to Finance service we are offering bespoke, flexible support, signposting to products and providers that will unlock business growth. Support includes:

  • 1-2-1 support to assess your financial position and funding requirements
  • 1-2-1 support to develop your business plan and financial forecasts
  • 1-2-1 support to become investment ready including developing the investment proposition
  • 1-2-1 support to identify the most relevant sources of funding for your business, plus assistance in discussions with potential investors
  • Financial planning and help to navigate the latest funding channels
  • Pitch & presentation development for investment opportunities, including an initial elevator pitch
  • Signposting and introductions including micro fund, start-up loan, bank funding, large debt financing, grant funding, R&D and equity finance
  • Support in engaging with finance providers and providing relevant information through Cumbria Business Growth Hub channels

Our Workforce Development service offers experienced, knowledgeable, and impartial support to review your skills needs and access relevant training more effectively. Support includes:

  • Support to assess your people development plans and funding requirements in line with your business plan and financial forecasts
  • Working with SMEs to undertake Training Needs Analyses, produce training plans and budgets and, ideally, embed this learning in the business
  • Helping businesses to identify and source relevant training and development, which may be funded or paid for, engaging with the Skills Hub and wider providers
  • Bringing together groups of businesses to enable sufficient cohort sizes delivery/cost effective delivery, and where appropriate arrange bespoke delivery
  • Engaging with training providers to ensure their own awareness and understanding of the options available
  • Supporting activities to raise the awareness and understanding of training options in the business community

Lesley Robinson, Business Support Manager with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce says, “I’m really pleased to welcome Maria Ramsdale of Maria Ramsdale Finance Ltd and Ray McCreadie of LEAN TeamGB to the team. Both bring to the table many years of experience and knowledge and they can’t wait to work with SMEs in Cumbria.”

Maria Ramsdale, Maria Ramsdale Finance Ltd says, “I’m delighted to be working with Cumbria Business Growth Hub delivering their access to finance programme. I have a wealth of experience dealing with start-ups to larger SME’s and a breadth of knowledge across all finance products covering the North West. I am passionate about supporting businesses across Cumbria and this service is well overdue so contact Cumbria Business Growth Hub asap for all your funding needs and take advantage of the free access support your business can receive.”

Ray McCreadie of LEAN TeamGB says, “I am pleased to be joining the Cumbria Business Growth Hub adviser team, focussing on Workforce Development.  Having previously worked in a number of business sectors helping organisations to achieve their strategic objectives through employee engagement, I’m looking forward to working with Cumbrian SMEs to devise people development strategies to support the success of their business”.

To find out more and access either service please email