ECO events, Taste Cockermouth is back, funding opportunites, grants available to support ambitious young people in West Cumbria, good news stories and more...

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Eco-I NW  How businesses can achieve Net Zero

Eco-I NW seeks to support low carbon business innovations across the region through a variety of short and long term interventions. The aim is to deliver a transition to a low carbon economy in all sectors.

The project is not led by specific technologies, but instead is driven by business needs and helps to facilitate a collaborative approach to problem solving.

Collaboration is at the heart of Eco-I NW. Their partnership includes the universities of Lancaster, Central Lancashire, Cumbria, Liverpool John Moores, Liverpool and Manchester Met, and operates across multiple LEP areas in the North West.

In Cumbria, they are keen to hear from and work with SME’s who want to make innovative changes to their products or services, in order to reduce their carbon output.


  • Internships and Masters Research placements
  • Innovation Workshop and Events
  • What are the benefits of Eco-I North West to your business?
  • Next Steps


Support is available to European Regional Development Fund eligible companies. To find out if your company is eligible for support please contact Mike Siddall- Eco-I North West Project Manager  07779132185

Eco-I NW builds on a previous ERDF-funded Eco-Innovation project. You can read about that project below:

Eco Innovation Review

Food, glorious food...Taste Cockermouth is back! 

Taste Cumbria

Taste Cumbria’s flagship food and drink festival is back.

Hot on the heels of its newest successful festival in Maryport earlier this month, our flagship  event will return to its original location in Cockermouth on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September.

This year’s festival will be smaller than previous years to ensure visitor numbers are manageable, but there will still be plenty of activities taking place.

The ever-popular producers’ market will take place on Main Street, while over in Memorial Gardens Car Park will be hot food vendors, fairground rides, drinks tent and picnic area. There will also be a comedy night and plenty of musical entertainment throughout the weekend.

Market Place will host a street party, with plenty of local hospitality businesses selling their wares, elsewhere in town, there will be children’s activities with Rainbow Jelly and street theatre from the Fairly Famous Family, and the chance to watch some of the county’s amazing chefs at work in the demo kitchen.

New for this year will be exclusive cocktail masterclasses and a Taste of the Lakes night with the team from the Lakes Distillery at Cockermouth’s newest venue, the Tithe Tap, a speakeasy-style bar on Station Street.

Taste Cumbria is organised by Allerdale Borough Council and supported by Cockermouth Town Council, The Coffee Kitchen Bakery, Bottled in Cumbria, Tractor Shed Brewing and The Trout Hotel.

There are a small amount of Trader pitches still available for the Producers’ Market and hot food court. Click here to participate.

Tickets for the comedy night, cocktail masterclasses and Taste of the Lakes Distillery night are on sale at Taste Cumbria website. Follow Taste Cumbria on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Allergen and Food Labelling Webinar

Natasha's Law webinar

Natasha’s Law will come into effect from 1 October 2021. The Law will ensure stricter regulations for businesses when labelling prepacked food. Businesses will now have to provide a full ingredients list on pre-packed food to benefit the people who do suffer with allergies.

Ahead of the new law being implemented, the Cumbria Better Business for All group will be holding an online event and welcoming any businesses and organisations which need to learn more about the new law.

During the webinar, there will be members of the Cumbria Trading Standards available on a live chat to answer any questions you may have.

There are two webinar dates to choose from: 

  • 22 September 2021 at 6.30pm
  • 23 September at 2pm

If your business will be affected by this law and you would like to join the online training course, please book your place using the following link:

Read More

Join our Allerdale Business Community Facebook Group

Keep up to date with the latest news, join a network of local business people and share your own posts Click the image to join.

Allerdale Business Community FB

Recruiting apprentices

Lakes College logo

As another summer comes to an end, we have more young people with well-earned GCSE’s and A-Levels eager to start a new career.

There couldn’t be a better time to consider recruiting an apprentice. If you have never gone through this process before, or are unsure what steps to take, Lakes College can help. They have free services for businesses who chose the apprenticeship route. Lakes College will communicate with you to understand your businesses functions, growth plans and culture. Using this information, they can then discuss and identify the training opportunities which best suit your business.  

Apprenticeship schemes don’t always have to be for new recruits! If you would just like to up skill your work force, Lakes College can also help you to do so. The college can offer advice on the process, the funding of an apprenticeship and the facilities they provide.

Find out more


A message from Cumbria Chamber of Commerce

Cumbria Chamber

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has just launched the Chamber Finance Finder in partnership with Swoop. The Chamber Finance Finder can match your business with the right funding opportunities across grants, loans, equity investment and commercial mortgages.

All you’d need to do is create an account for free and in minutes you could be matched to all available finance opportunities, including the Recovery Loan Scheme. You can visit their website here to see more.

One funding option you won't find through the Chamber Finance Finder however is the Growth Hub Consultancy Subsidy.

If you’re looking to the future and planning for the months ahead, Cumbria Business Growth Hub still has some subsidies to give away before the end of November/early December.

They can give you up to £1,500 (40%) to spend on areas such as:

  • Refreshed website content including videos/images
  • Brand new websites
  • Search engine optimisation ensuring your website appears higher up those searches
  • Introduction of online shop/booking system
  • Client management system development
  • Marketing planning/strategy
  • Financial management support
  • Business planning
  • HR processes, policies and procedures
  • Legal
  • Consultancy support with grant/funding applications
  • ……..and more

All you need is to complete a really simple three page application, submit three comparable quotes and you decide who does the work.

What’s the catch? All they ask is for a minimum project spend of £2,500 or more for us to pay £1,000, and the subsidy is only available to those businesses who work mainly with other businesses rather than the general public or are looking to grow the B2B side of the business. Projects must not have started.

The money needs to be spent so don’t delay, we’d hate you to miss out!!

Anyone interested in applying please email

Instagram UK Business Mentorship Programme

Small Business Britain

Announcing Instagram's first UK Mentorship Programme

Millions of small businesses are thriving on Instagram. Did you know that 90% of people on Instagram follow a business 84% want to discover new products on it, and 130million people ‘tap’ to reveal a shopping tag each month?

Small Business Britain has partnered with Instagram to offer small businesses the chance to benefit from their first UK mentorship scheme – giving your business the opportunity to learn about content creation, marketing and social commerce from the best creators, successful founders and Instagram experts, all in the run up to the holiday shopping season.

The five successful small businesses will benefit from:

  • A content workshop afternoon with one of the UK’s top Instagram creators, covering creative tips and tricks, and developing a three-month Instagram content plan.
  • An hour-long virtual coaching session with a business mentor.
  • Three monthly hour-long sessions with an Instagram product expert, to discuss how to best use Instagram for Business.
  • £1,000 worth of Instagram ad credits - to support your growth ambitions.

All entry details are below. Those who apply but are not picked for this mentorship programme in partnership with Small Business Britain will still receive a specially curated digital toolkit of best practice guides for social commerce for Instagram.

Deadline for entry submissions is 19th September and winners will be contacted after 27th September. The mentorship scheme will run between October and December 2021.

Apply now.

*Before applying, please ensure you read and understand the Terms & Conditions.

Messages from Cumbria Tourism


Recruitment campaign reaches 20million+ 

We’re continuing to work hard on #theperfectplacetowork recruitment campaign, to help mitigate the current recruitment crisis.

Our latest media coverage includes The Sun’s ‘career top tips’ reaching an audience of 3.2million people, and bringing the total reach of the campaign to date to more than 20million.  

Following the A-level and GCSE results earlier this month, we are switching our focus from school/college leavers and gap year students to other in-county audiences, as well as visitors outside Cumbria looking for long-term lifestyle changes.   Meanwhile, preparations are well underway for our upcoming Recruitment Fair on 29 September, in partnership with the FSB, DWP and Inspira. CT members can register for a FREE stand, enabling you to showcase your vacancies at the event at The Forum in Barrow. Book your free stand here.  

More Kickstart places being created  

Cumbria Tourism has been calling on both the Tourism Minister and our MPs to broaden out the criteria for the Kickstart scheme. So we’re delighted to see the Government take this on board, creating more eligible Kickstart placements in areas with recruitment issues like the Lake District, Cumbria.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)’s latest guidance for businesses participating in the Kickstart scheme states that:  The Kickstart Scheme was designed for Participants aged between 16 – 24. There is a potential that individuals aged 25-29 may also derive benefit from being part of the Kickstart Scheme. Individuals aged 25-29 registered to Job Centres in areas as determined by the DWP where there are an insufficient number of participants aged between 16-24 available to fill the Kickstart job vacancies, will also be eligible for the Kickstart Scheme where referred by the DWP. 

You can register your vacancies for the Kickstart scheme on Cumbria Tourism's website, accessing £1,500 of funding for each placement to set up training and support. 

50% scholarship available to Cumbria’s tourism industry professionals  

Are you looking to upskill your staff? Our Strategic Partners at The University of Cumbria are offering two scholarships for their Tourism Management MBA, starting next month. Based in Ambleside, the aim is to support the ongoing development of management skills across Cumbria, enabling valued tourism staff in the county to take their career to the next level.  Find out more here

Allerdale Business Website - advertise your vacancies

Did you know you can advertise your vacancies or apprenticeship opportunities on our Business Website? Click on the image for details.

Business Website

Geological Disposal


The Allerdale GDF Working Group has been welcoming people to community drop-ins throughout July and August to start a conversation with you about whether Allerdale is the right place to build a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) to permanently dispose of the UK’s higher-activity radioactive waste. We know not everybody is comfortable with or able to make face-to-face events so we’re also hosting online sessions open to anyone with a connection to Allerdale.

Organisers are also hosting their second 'We need to talk about Geological Disposal' online event. You’ll be introduced to the subject of Geological Disposal and the Allerdale GDF Working Group. You will also find out what geology may be suitable, and explore ways a GDF might benefit the community. There will be an opportunity to discuss concerns around safety and wellbeing.

About the Allerdale GDF Working Group

The Working Group, who are neither for nor against building a GDF in Allerdale, is independently Chaired by Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong, and members include local representatives from Allerdale Borough Council, Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM), Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC), and Genr8North Ltd (who are the Interested Party that came forward and asked for Allerdale to be considered as a potential location).

The Allerdale GDF Working Group was formed in January 2021 and has three primary tasks: -

  • Begin the conversation with the people of Allerdale about a GDF potentially being in the area
  • Identify a search area(s) for consideration for the location of a GDF within Allerdale
  • Identify/recruit members for a potential Community Partnership

About the events

The events will be held on Zoom and will start with some information about what a GDF is and an introduction to the process that the Working Group is part of. We will then host a series of breakout rooms where participants can go to find out more information, or meet others and discuss their thoughts.

Meeting date and time: Thursday, 9 September 2021 19:00 – 20:00 

 To register your interest please click here.

Grants available to support ambitious young people in West Cumbria

Ambitious young people

Charitable groups and community projects in West Cumbria area are being encouraged to apply for funding of up to £5,000 from the #CanDo Fund.

Cumbria Community Foundation manages over a hundred grant making funds and awards on average £2 million a year to community organisations.

#CanDo aims to support the ambition of developing a lifetime commitment to social action and increase the number of opportunities for young people (aged between 10 and 20, and up to 25 for disabled young people) in West Cumbria to volunteer, fundraise, or campaign on issues that are important to them, with a commitment to reducing the social and financial barriers that stop some young people from taking part in social action.

Funded by Sellafield Ltd, with match funding from Thomas Graham & Sons and local donors, #CanDo is part of Transforming West Cumbria, a multi-year social investment programme developed by Cumbria Community Foundation.

#CanDo will raise young people’s aspirations and build their confidence by:

  • engaging young people in meaningful social and environmental action
  • empowering young people from disadvantaged communities to volunteer, lead change and take action in their communities
  • encouraging young people to have a voice, be heard and give back to their local community
  • enabling young people to make a huge difference to improving their community and local environment

The closing date for the first round of funding is 10th September 2021. For more information click below.

Cumbria Community Foundation


Good news stories from this week

Adam Peaty GLL

A visit from Adam Peaty

Amazing to welcome Olympic gold medalist and world champion swimmer Adam Peaty MBE to Workington Leisure Centre last week alongside partners GLL. Just look at those medals!
Adam - soon to be featuring on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing - came to deliver one of his special race clinics to local youngsters, hoping to inspire the next generation of sporting superstars. Good luck on Strictly, twinkle toes Peaty!


Snowflake Mountain

Snowflake Mountain: New Netflix reality show set to film in the Lake District

We're interested to read in the News & Star that a new programme Snowflake Mountain has been commissioned by Netflix. The programme will see 'a bunch of clueless kidults who aren’t yet living to their full potential' taken out into the wilderness for a survival retreat. A back to basics camp, quite different from their pampered lives and could be a rude awakening for some of the participants say Netflix.

The contestants will have no running water or internet in the programme, which will be filmed with an international cast.  See the News & Star story here.


3 lions

England Under-20 call-up for local youngsters James Trafford and Jarrad Branthwaite

Teenagers James Trafford (Manchester City goalkeeper) and Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton) have earned an international call-up. The duo, who both play in the Premier League have been named in the Under 20 squad.

Trafford, from Greysouthen, and Branthwaite, from Wigton, are in the 23-man squad for a game against Romania next month.


Upcoming events 

Cumbria Growth Hub

Procurement at Allerdale Borough Council – Monday 27th September – 1pm to 2.30pm delivered by Cumbria Business Growth Hub via Zoom.

To book your place at this online supply chain event please email: – only one place per business.

If you want to open doors and do more business with Allerdale Borough Council, join us to learn more about:

  • The vision for Allerdale – Impact of Council contracts
  • Understanding of procurement
  • What things does the Council buy?
  • Guidance on key activities
    • registering and using the Chest
  • Confidence to be able to apply for Council Contracts

The Growth Hub has also updated its supply chain section with more information for businesses. 

You can also see the helpful video from our Allerdale Procurement team: 

Procurement Q&A in a friendly way



Want to launch on Amazon but don’t know where to start?

If you’re a business owner and wanting your business to grow, then what better way to start than using one of the quickest routes to market your products? If you are unsure if Amazon is that right platform for your brand, then this online training will give you all the information you need to know to help you make an informative decision.

This online event takes place on 8 September 2021 between 13:00- 14:00. The session will cover the following:

  • How to correctly set up your business on Amazon
  • Building an Amazon business plan
  • Understand how to leverage the international opportunities.

If you would like to attend the please book here.


Cumbria LEP is inviting SMEs in Cumbria to join one of its new business leadership workshops, which are being facilitated by Kevin Light from Switched on Leaders, who is an executive leadership coach and organisational development consultant. Kevin has been facilitating the development of leaders, leadership teams and organisations for the whole of his 30 year career. Working in a wide variety of sectors in many parts of the world, Kevin has partnered leaders in large corporates, SMEs, private-equity backed firms, owner run companies, state-run services and community organisations. He has specialised in designing and running large cultural and change projects and mentoring senior leaders manage large cultural and change development projects.

The workshops are highly interactive and will be limited to 12 participants at each, and as such interested businesses are invited to book early. The booking details for each workshop are provided below. 

Decision Making

As a business leader, you have to make many decisions every day. These decisions affect other people. They add up to determine the future of your business.

How do you go about making these decisions? How can you become more confident that they will be good and lead to the best outcomes for you and your business?

Thursday 16 September – 14.00 – 16.00  Book here.