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New support available to help small and medium-sized enterprises to grow

Suzanne Caldwell

Extra help is now available to the many Cumbrian businesses that have often missed out because they’re not eligible under European funding rules.

Led by Cumbria Business Growth Hub™ and funded through Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, support through Cumbria Growth Catalyst will ensure that all SMEs regardless of their sector, are able to access a wide range of business support that can unlock the growth potential of their business.

Cumbria Growth Catalyst is delivered by a number of partners including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster, Centre of Leadership Performance, Cumbria Tourism, Farmer Network and National Farmers Union. The programme will complement the support that is currently provided through the Cumbria Business Growth Hub™ providing a seamless support service to all SMEs.

As part of this complementary approach, the funding provided to Cumbria Growth Catalyst will ensure that businesses operating in sectors such as agriculture, retail, hospitality & tourism, nuclear and health & beauty are now able to access a range of business support advice that their counterparts in other eligible sectors have benefited from.

Support on offer includes a one-to-one business health check with an adviser leading to an action plan with recommendations, plus a great choice of high-quality workshops throughout Cumbria both sector specific and more general.

For business with aspirations to grow significantly in the next three years additional advice may be available.

Review and advice can look at the business in general or focus on a specific issue such as digital, leadership and management or marketing.

Suzanne Caldwell, Deputy Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the lead partner in the Growth Hub, said: “It’s great to have support for businesses that miss out on other initiatives because they don’t meet the European Regional Development Fund criteria.

“Although some support has been available through local authorities, Cumbria Growth Catalyst greatly increases the help available.

“The mix of partners, with their breath of experience really adds to offer.

“If you’re looking to develop and grow your business, or have issues you want to address, do not miss out on this fantastic opportunity.”

Cumbria Growth Catalyst is a Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) initiative funded by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Dr Steve Curl, LEP board member and head of its Business Strategy Group, said: “Our aim is to ensure that the county’s business community has appropriate access to a wide range of business support facilities, including national products and programmes.

“The Cumbria Growth Catalyst complements our business support activity, working with Cumbria Business Growth Hub™, to support business growth, encourage job creation and help all SMEs maximise their potential.

“It is designed to help more accurately identify what types of support SMEs need with diagnostic assessments, training workshops and intensive, targeted assistance for firms with the greatest potential for significant growth in turnover.”

To apply or find out more visit www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk/business-support/cumbria-catalyst or call 0844 257 84 50.

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