Tourism Conference new date, Taste Cumbria Christmas this weekend, top tips for hospitality businesses, Cumbria Food Awards, good news stories, events and more...

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Tourism Conference - Rebuilding for the future

Our originally planned Tourism Conference for October was, unfortunately, postponed. 

However, we have an all new hybrid event rescheduled for 2022.

So, put the date in your diaries, the event will be held at Energus Workington on 23 February 2022 and is sure to be a thoroughly engaging and interactive experience, and will be open to all tourism and hospitality businesses across Cumbria.

The event will run from 12pm until 4pm. If you cannot make the journey to Energus, don't worry, you can attend online as the event will be run in hybrid format allowing us to  accommodate as many people as possible.

The conference focuses on the theme of Tourism: Rebuilding for the Future.

The event, organised by Allerdale Borough Council, will address key issues affecting the Cumbrian visitor economy, with attendees gleaning the knowledge of expert speakers through interactive sessions and networking opportunities - not forgetting a a free lunch and the chance to catch up with Cumbria wide based colleagues,

Keep an eye out for more details to follow... you will be able to register very soon

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Festive cheer awaits at Taste Cumbria Christmas Cockermouth

Mince pies
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Visitors can eat, drink and shop until they drop in Cockermouth this weekend when the Taste Cumbria Christmas market comes to the town.

Taking place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December - there'll be mince pies and mulled wine, colourful gifts and crafts, all served with a hefty helping of sparkle and glitz amid some of the prettiest Christmas lights in the county.

The two-day festival will include everything fans of the festive food festival have come to expect. There will be a packed producers’ market, a hot food court with meals and snacks, and live music on the festival stage with some great local bands.

There will also be plenty of family activities with a fairground and children’s arty workshops. All around the town, the shops will be offering a fabulous array of gifts, food and drink, with everything visitors need for the Christmas season.

This year’s Taste Cumbria Christmas is supported by Allerdale Borough Council, Cockermouth Chamber of Trade, Cockermouth Town Council, The Coffee Kitchen Bakery, and Cartmell Shepherd solicitors.

Find out more

Cumbria Food Awards 2022

Cumbrian Food Awards

It's time to nominate your venue, business or individual in the Cumbria Food Awards 2022, in partnership with Caterite.

The awards celebrate the people who make the industry a welcoming and stable environment for the next generation of hospitality professionals and who invest in their training and wellbeing.

The awards will cover the whole industry, from much-loved cafés to casual dining bistros, fine dining restaurants and ground breaking initiatives. The awards will shine a spotlight on businesses that show a commitment to environmental sustainability through careful sourcing and transparent supply chains and those that work hard to combat mental health issues.

Recognising the sheer hard work and dedication of everyone involved in our local food and drink sector at the end of such a challenging period, the awards will be split across 13 categories and the winners will be announced at Kendal College on 3 March 2022, hosted by special guest Dave Myers.

From restaurants to cafes and chefs, the awards represent the very best in Cumbria’s food and drink scene.

See the categories, nominated your venue, business or an individual below:

Cumbria Food Awards

Coronavirus Omicron new measures

Face coverings

New measures introduced on 30 November 2021

The government announced new measures to counter and slow-down the spread of a new covid-19 variant, named omicron. These came into force on 30 November 2021. The new temporary and precautionary measures include new regulations on face coverings.

Face coverings are compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so. This is the law.

A full list of the types of places where face coverings are required is:

  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire, this includes shops in larger premises such as a gift shop within a museum)
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • auction houses
  • post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs, etc
  • estate and lettings agents
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (such as hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing studios)
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • retail galleries
  • retail travel agents
  • takeaways (without space for consumption of food or drink on premises as shops), aside from when eating and drinking;
  • pharmacies;
  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
  • taxis and private hire vehicles
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals

These temporary measures will be reviewed by the government ahead of Christmas.

We will continually up date information on our Allerdale Borough Council website

You can also visit the GOV.UK website for more information.

Facemasks on premises

Download the government face covering poster

If you run a business whose customers are now required to wear face coverings you can download a poster to display in your premises from our Allerdale Business website.

Please download, print and display prominently in your premises.


Download poster

Allerdale Borough Council vacancies

Now Hiring

Strategic Advisor - Assurance Risk & Audit (Shared role with Copeland Borough Council)

To lead on the delivery of an effective, quality service through the development and delivery of a range of functions, initiatives and projects that provide our customers with value for money and the highest standards of support to the organisation and Members as well as excellent practice across Allerdale Borough Council & Copeland Borough Council.

‘The role of internal audit is to provide independent assurance that an organisation's risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively.’

Hours: 37 per week

Salary: £40,876 - £41,881

Closing Date: 24 December 2021 at 9:00am

Find out more

Senior Business Support - Business Analyst. Strategy Policy and Performance

The post holder will be working with services to see how waste and inefficiency can be reduced/taken out by using different smarter ways of working and to identify any ‘quick fixes’ that can add value for customers, and staff as we transition to the new authority.

Salary: £21,748.00 to £27,041.00

37 hours per week

Closing date: 15 December 2021 at 17:00pm

Find out more

More vacancies on our website: Allerdale jobs

Keswick Leisure provision

Leisure in Keswick consultation

Have your say...

We'd like to say a big THANK YOU to all those who have taken part in the Keswick Leisure consultation process with Strategic Leisure Limited (SLL) either in person on via the online survey so far.

SLL are continuing to get feedback from stakeholders this week so the online survey will stay open until Friday 10 December.

Keswick residents and business owners can still have their say on the future of leisure provision in the town. Go to our online at survey Have your say

11 top tips to prepare for the Christmas period and maximise turnover in hospitality 

Matthew Hutton Armstrong Watson

Advice from Accounting Senior Manager at Armstrong Watson Matthew Hutton

Hospitality business owners are so busy with the day to day running of their venues they might not always have the time to take a step back and review each part of their business.

This is so important as you need to ensure you are doing the right things to make your inputs and costs as efficient as possible, whilst also driving custom and income up. This has been particularly pertinent during Covid with all the additional requirements and red tape enforced by the various restrictions imposed throughout the period. 

With a lot of noise in the media about potential supply shortages over Christmas industry advisor Martyn Vevers and I have put together some tips to help hospitality businesses prepare themselves for the festive period and beyond. 

The supply chain may cause significant headaches over the next few weeks so business owners must be prepared and calculated with their procurement processes

Prepare for the Christmas period 

  • Good supplier relations – keep in regular contact and place orders in plenty of time and have your customer representative numbers handy, making calls early morning or late at night to receive a quicker response.  
  • Back-up plan – have backup suppliers in place in case you have any issues with your main suppliers and remember wholesalers, cash and carries and supermarkets as emergency options should you have any immediate gaps in your stock.  
  • Stock up – if cash will allow, it is better to have too much beer, wine and spirits – items with long shelf lives – for the festive period than it is to run out at your busiest time. Stock sufficiently on your best sellers, along with glassware, beer mats and bar runners during busy periods.  
  • Offers – take full advantage of special offers available from suppliers. If a supplier is offering ‘buy four get one free’, make sure you purchase in multiples of five to obtain the lowest unit cost. 
  • Be flexible – Now that the Government has made face coverings mandatory in shops and on public transport in response to the new Omicron variant, it is worth being prepared in case restrictions – whatever they might be – change again.

Maximise your turnover 

  • Price promotions – be sure the increased footfall and unit sales it generates outweigh the loss in profit margin.  
  • Customer service – ensure well-trained staff give the best customer service possible so customers want to stay for longer, driving up the average spend per head. 
  • Cleanliness – make sure everything is spotless to encourage customers to spend more time with you. 
  • Quality – too much on a menu can result in a drop in quality and therefore customer satisfaction. A streamlined food offering also reduces waste.  
  • Bar variety – have the right mix of drinks available, with different strengths of beer and cider and a good range of non-alcoholic options 
  • Know your customers – what would draw more people in? A quiz night, pool table or Sky Sports?

Find out more

Add your business for FREE to the Allerdale Business Directory

Allerdale Business Directory

Proposed future approach to measure travel and tourism statistics






The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is looking for feedback to inform a review of their travel and tourism statistics.

Travel and tourism statistics are used by businesses, policy-makers, tourism boards and many others to understand patterns and behaviours of people who travel both internationally and domestically. However, there is now need to review how well these statistics are meeting the needs of the people and organisations using them. Similarly, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted some weaknesses in the current approach to data collection.

The review, of which this consultation is a part, provides the opportunity to gather a comprehensive understanding of user needs, and to explore how best they can be met in a changing environment.

As part of the review, ONS have worked with our stakeholders to develop a proposed approach for how they will measure travel and tourism statistics in future. The proposed approach represents a move away from how the formerly collected data (relying heavily on the International Passenger Survey) and towards a system that maximises the use of alternative data sources alongside survey data.

ONS are asking organisations and people who use travel and tourism statistics to provide feedback on this proposed approach. Your feedback will be used to guide future development of this work and inform the final recommendations of the review, which will be published in Spring 2022. ONS Consultation.  Closes 21 Dec 2021. 

Messages from Cumbria LEP


Are you an SME and want to grow your business?  Call the CLEP business advisers, Lynsey Parke, Gavin Glennon, Jonathan Power, Sarah Peak - they are on hand to help you. Free support in business, legal, marketing, export and so much more. 

Find out more

Messages from Cumbria Chamber

Cumbria Chamber

Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) Survey now open!

Work is now gathering pace on the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for Cumbria. This is being produced by the Chamber, working with a range of partners – and, crucially, you as businesses.

An important part of this is the skills survey which has just been launched.

We’re all aware of skills shortages and of the need to constantly refresh and renew the skills and training needs of our workforce as the economy changes and develops. New industries and opportunities are arising and many require technical skills that are not yet available in the county.

The survey starts to explore the current state of learning and skills provision in the county, how this measures up against what employers are being offered, and the main strengths and weaknesses identified. The research is also looking at the new and emerging skills provision that will be needed, especially in areas such as carbon reduction, net zero, greening and retrofit of the built economy. This will be combined with information from other research and data sources, as well as focus groups and 1-2-1 interviews that the chamber will be rolling out around the county.

So, as a first stage, the chamber is asking for your help in completing a short survey that should take no longer than 10-15 minutes of your time. Your views as an employer are essential in helping build a picture of skills and training provision and needs in Cumbria, and the chamber hopes that you will be keen to help.

You can complete the survey using this link:

At the end of the survey you’ll also get the opportunity to highlight if you’d be up for participating in a focus group and/or 1-2-1 interview.

Peer Networks Eligibility Criteria update – 2nd December 2021:

Thanks to flexibilities received from funders BEIS, the chamber can now recruit businesses with 2-4 employees giving them much more scope and flexibility to support a wider range of businesses.

To qualify you need to fit into one of the below*:

  1. a) under-represented groups eg women-led, ethnic minority-led
  2. b) sectors particularly impacted by Covid ie retail and hospitality
  3. c) businesses with turnover over £200,000.

*local discretion can be used so please still get in touch if you don’t fall into one of the above.

If you don’t meet the above criteria do still get in touch – the chamber can link you into other Peer support programmes offered through Cumbria Business Growth Hub. 

Register your interest here

Well done Cumbria Tourism!

CT PN Marketing Award

Cumbria Tourism triumphed at the Prolific North Marketing Awards, after being ‘highly commended’ for #ThePerfectPlaceToBe marketing campaign.

The results were revealed at a ceremony in Leeds on Thursday 25 November, when finalists from across the North of England gathered to celebrate stand-out marketing campaigns chosen by a panel of industry leaders.

Cumbria Tourism’s summer marketing campaign was developed to help encourage visitors to rediscover lesser-known corners of the county following the national lockdown earlier this year.

It focused on ‘attract and disperse’ activity to expand awareness of destinations including the Cumbrian coastline, Carlisle and Hadrian’s Wall country, and the east of the county, where Cumbria meets the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales.

Cumbria Tourism’s Marketing Manager, Sue Clarke, says, “We are thrilled by this result!  #ThePerfectPlaceToBe summer campaign was all about encouraging potential visitors to explore further, spreading them more evenly across the country this summer and helping increase economic benefits for traditionally less-visited parts of Cumbria.

“It was developed to help support Cumbria’s tourism and hospitality sector as it emerged from the pandemic, and this award is dedicated to all those businesses who have faced such a challenging time over the last 20 months.”

 She adds, “It’s also a fantastic public acknowledgement for the Cumbria Tourism team. We are all very proud of the campaign and the positive impact it has had. To be recognised for our industry expertise – alongside creative marketing and communications specialists from across the North of England – is an added boost for everyone involved.”

Recruitment support

Business Website

Business Allerdale 

Did you know we have a jobs page?  If you have any vacancies or apprenticeships in  the Allerdale area, you can upload them to our website. Fill out the short form along with a job description FOR FREE – To take the opportunity to promote your vacancies, simply add your vacancies here

We have an events and training calendar showcasing upcoming events, ranging from  digital and social media support, HR support, import and export advice, and much more.  You can also add your own events and training courses. Keep an eye on this page for any courses which may help with recruitment or upskilling your staff. Click here to see upcoming events.

Workington Christmas Market - coming soon

Workington Christmas

A new Christmas market is coming to Workington this December – just in time to get everyone into the festive spirit. 

The event takes place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 December in Risman Place, by the former Debenhams store, right in the heart of the town centre. Visitors will be able to pick up some lovely food, drink and crafts from the stalls, before visiting the town’s usual market, and the high street shops and eateries too. 

We will be showcasing a Live and Local stage organised by HMV. The Live and Local initiative, which started in 2019, sees HMV open their doors to unsigned artists, inviting them to perform at their local HMV stores. It also offers artists an opportunity to have their CDs and vinyls available for purchase in the shop. Bands on stage each day from 1-4pm with the Carnegie Choir on stage from 12-1pm.

The Christmas market will also feature a ‘social village’ with local charities and organisations offering practical support and helpful advice. 

Elsewhere in town will be the Rotary club’s Santa’s grotto, located in the former Vision Express store in the Washington Square shopping centre. The Council’s regular market will also be happening on the Saturday. 

The Workington Christmas Market is organised by Allerdale Borough Council, sponsored by Cumbria County Council and Sovereign Centros and supported by the Carnegie Theatre and HMV. 

We have limited stalls still available. If you are a local food or drink producer and are interested in trading, please email: for a form. Stalls are only £25 for the weekend!

Please note, you must have public liability insurance in place to trade.

If there are any Outreach organisations who would like to attend in the 'Social Village' area of the market, we're happy to provide you with space for FREE!.

New app goes live to help safeguard local heritage

People across Cumbria are being invited to help protect local heritage as part of a county-wide project which Allerdale Borough Council has been part of and has been led by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

The new app has been launched to enable the public to pinpoint those places they would like to see safeguarded. Photos and location details can be uploaded from phones, laptops and tablets, and it is hoped the app will encourage young people to take part while out and about by nominating anything from a park to a pub, garden, house or historic street sign. 

Cumbria secured £70,000 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for its county-wide Local Heritage Listing campaign. The Government’s £1.5 million campaign is designed to help protect the “commonplace or everyday” heritage assets valued by people locally but with no existing protection under planning law. Cumbria’s campaign roll-out is being led by conservation and planning specialists at SLDC and the partner organisations. Nominations will be considered in spring 2022.

Find out more

Coming soon... the all new Maryport Regeneration Newsletter 

We're Maryport

As many of you will know, Maryport was successful in bidding for around £14m of funds for investment into our great town. Much work has been going on behind the scenes with the regeneration teams, groups and partners along with Maryport community groups and businesses.

We’ve got plenty to update you on and keep you informed as the projects develop. Therefore, we are delighted to tell you that we have produced an all new Maryport Regeneration e-newsletter, which you can receive straight to your inbox, very soon!

This will be your ‘one-stop shop’ for all things happening within the planned projects in and around Maryport.

We will have regular updates on the Maryport Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), including the Maritime Museum, Maryport Town Hall, shopfront improvements as well as the large projects to develop Christ Church, Empire Yard, The Wave and The Carlton funded through the government’s High Street Fund.

A new Cultural Consortium has been formed and we’ll be bringing you news on a cultural programme for the area. We’re also working closely with the Maryport Business Group (MBG) and we’ve had strong support from the local community and key stakeholders.

So, if you would like to learn more and keep up to date with the exciting news about Maryport, you can sign up today: Maryport Newsletter

Join our Allerdale Business Community Facebook Group

Keep up to date with the latest news, and join a network local business people. Simply click on the image to join and engage.

Allerdale Business Community FB

Good News Stories


McMenon Engineering take two awards at the Energy Industries Council Awards

What an acheivement!  The News & Star reported that the Workington-based company was victorious in two categories of the Energy Industries Council Awards.

The EIC awards celebrate the best supply chain companies in the energy sector and everyone at McMenon is delighted to be recognised in this way.

McMenon, which has built up a world-renowned reputation for manufacturing quality specialist flow and temperature measurement products, won in both the Export and Resilience categories.They have built up a global reputation for manufacturing quality specialist products for a range of industries, including energy, water, nuclear, defence, food and beverage and process industries. See the full story in the News & Star: McMenon engineering

Muddy Duck

Caldbeck cafe raises money for children in need this Christmas

Well done the Muddy Duck Cafe. The cafe has raised hundreds of pounds to help children this Christmas through festive events.

The Muddy Duck Cafe & Tea Room in Caldbeck organised an elf hunt and will have a Santa's grotto with money going to CFM Cash for Kids Mission Christmas.

The cafe is run by Charles Deans, his wife Sara and daughters Ebony and Lois.

This is not the first time that the family has raised funds for charity. After losing his sister to pancreatic cancer last year, Mr Deans travelled from Land's End to John O'Groats in his wheelchair. He raised nearly £20,000 for Eden Valley Hospice and the Calvert Trust. 

On the elf hunt, youngsters are given a map with clues. They have to find 20 elves which are dotted around Caldbeck. It has been running from November 13 and continues until December 23. It costs £2.50 to take part and £1 of that goes to CFM Cash for Kids Mission Christmas and the Santa's Grotto starts on December 11 and runs every weekend before Christmas. News & Star full story: Muddy Duck fundraising



Cockermouth estate agent Grisdales delighted to make top 10

Great to read in In-Cumbria that an estate agency which has offices in West Cumbria was delighted to recently scoop a top title.

Grisdales has branches on Cockermouth Main Street and King Street, Whitehaven.

They were recently awarded "excellent" in both sales and lettings at the Best Estate Agents Guide (BEAG) 2022 awards.

The company's performance was judged over six months and included a mystery shop. They, like many companies throughout the country, has had a challenging time. We're delighted for their positvity. In-Cumbria: Grisedales

Upcoming events

Forthcoming Events from Cumbria LEP and partners

Please see our Website link - Cumbria LEP events


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Digital Tech

Digital Tech Cumbria: An overview of alternative social media channels

Date: January 18th, 10:00

When it comes to social media there’s more than the big 4 – find out which other channels might be of use to your business.

When someone says Social Media it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In. But there are so many more options and successful social media marketing is about using the channels that your customers (or potential customers use).

This 60 minute webinar delivered as part of the Digital Tech Cumbria programme along with CDI Alliance will give an overview of alternative social medias that might be right for your business. Established channels and emerging channels – keeping you up-to-date with what is out there.

You’ll learn more about:

  • TikTok
  • YouTube
  • WhatsApp
  • SnapChat
  • Pinterest

Register now.

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Funded by the Welcome Back Fund - funded by ERDF