Workington Christmas Market and band performances, Shop Local business tender opportunity, Taste Christmas success, business advice, FSB subsidised membership, good news stories, events and more...

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Workington Christmas

Workington Christmas Market

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

Taking 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, and visit the town’s regular market on Saturday and high street shops and eateries over the weekend too. 

The Christmas event will have a producers’ market, a festive bar, fairground rides, and a social village showcasing local outreach organisations offering offering practical support and helpful advice. These will be open on Saturday 10am–5pm, and on Sunday 10am–4pm.

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 Workington Christmas Market is organised by Allerdale Borough Council as part of its efforts to support the business community, attract footfall into our town centres making them more vibrant and sustainable.

It is sponsored by Cumbria County Council and Sovereign Centros and supported by the Carnegie Theatre and HMV. 

HMV music

Music performances at Workington’s Christmas Market

Let the music play... the Christmas market in Workington next week will be showcasing a Live and Local stage organised by HMV.  

The 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.  

Workington Christmas Market will feature six up-and-coming local artists as well as the Carnegie Choir who will perform on both days from midday until 1pm. 

Russ Withey, HMV Cumbria Manager, said: “HMV Live and Local is an initiative which allows us to showcase some of the region’s up-and-coming artists with live in-store performances and also by stocking their releases on our shelves. 

“We have hand-picked some of the new talent that Cumbria has to offer for this year’s Workington Christmas Market and we’re really looking forward to seeing the buzz that is created in the town centre.” 

Opportunity to work on Allerdale’s Shop Local Campaign

Shop Local

Allerdale Borough Council invites quotations for the provision of a Shop Local marketing campaign which will encourage Allerdale businesses to embrace the opportunities digital channels offer to support their recovery and growth following on going changes to the Covid regulations.

Quotation Submission Deadline 12 noon, 3 January 2022

The project is for approximately three months. The intended commencement date is 10 January 2022 and will end on 14 March 2022. The campaign costs are funded by the Government's Welcome Back Fund.

Submit your ideas here

For any further enquires please contact Graham Kennedy, Destination Manager, Allerdale Borough Council, 

FSB subsidised membership for Allerdale small businesses

FSB Campaign

The Federation of Small Businesses and Allerdale Borough Council are working  together to offer subsidised membership to small businesses in the area.

Join for as little as £97 in the first year!

This discount is only available to the first 200 applicants, so don’t miss out - apply today.

For a limited time only, you can get the full benefit of an FSB membership at a subsidised rate. Businesses can benefit from discount of at least £80 off the normal price of joining FSB in their first year due to the collaboration between FSB and Allerdale Borough Council.

Thousands of members have benefitted from inclusive support, legal advice, financial expertise, and a powerful voice in governments across the UK – all essentials for businesses, especially as we navigate the coronavirus crisis. As a member you will get access to:

  • 24/7-hour legal advice line
  • Online library of cover 1,300 legal, tax and HR documents, templates, and guides
  • Easy access to funding options
  • Recover the money you’re owed with our debt collection service
  • Advice and documents on health and safety in the workplace, provided by                   industry  experts.

To take advantage of this offer, click below, submit your details and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Find out more

If you need more convincing, then see this short, informative video outlining all the FSB can do to support small businesses.

FSB video


Taste Cumbria Christmas Cockermouth - full of festive cheer 

Taste Christmas
taste logo


Shop, eat, drink, then shop some more – visitors to the Taste Cumbria Christmas festival in Cockermouth did all of that at the weekend.

The streets were bustling with visitors who had come to the town especially for the festive market, and they made the most of all the town had to offer.

The weather was a little damp, particularly on the Saturday afternoon, but that certainly didn’t deter people, (or their four-legged friends) with some of the town’s independent shops reporting a beautifully busy weekend.

Now firmly established as the biggest and, arguably, the best foodie events in Cumbria, Taste Cumbria began in Cockermouth following the floods of 2009. Since then, events have taken place all over the county – the most recent being held in Maryport and Wigton for the first time this year.


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

You can see all the wonderful images from the weekend on the Facebook page (thank you to Tom Kay Photographic for some great shots) 

Taste Cumbria Christmas

Coronavirus Omicron new measures

Omicron measures

The Prime Minister has announced a move to Plan B measures, as outlined in the Covid-19 Autumn/Winter Plan. Plan B measures will come into force while more data on vaccine efficacy is assessed. Moving to Plan B will help to slow the spread of the Omicron variant and reduce the chances of the NHS coming under unsustainable pressure, while buying time to deliver more boosters.

These measures are in addition to:

  • A renewed push on testing, with a focus on testing to enable this includes testing before you meet others, socialise or go to crowded or enclosed places.  
  • A continued push on vaccines and boosters - being fully vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves against catching Covid-19.
  • Continued messaging on ventilation - let in fresh air when meeting indoors.

Face coverings - stadiums and concerts

From 10 December, people must wear a face covering in most indoor settings including stadiums and concerts, unless exempt.

Face coverings - cinemas and theatres

From 10 December, people must wear a face covering in most indoor settings including cinemas and theatres, unless exempt.

Face coverings - places of worship

From 10 December, people must wear a face covering in most indoor settings including places of worship, unless exempt.

Work from home

From 13 December, employees should work from home, if they can.

Certification - night clubs

From 15 December, people will need to show your NHS COVID Pass in nightclubs and other venues where large crowds mix.

Certification - stadia

From 15 December, people will need to show your NHS COVID Pass in certain places where crowds gather, like large stadiums.


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

Did you know about this useful tool?

Business Companion

The Business Companion

Business Companion is an information resource for businesses. The website provides information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation. Knowing and abiding by the law protects your business, is good for consumers, and helps support the economy.

Sometimes the world of trading standards and consumer protection legislation can feel confusing. But this government backed website can help you with free, simplified guidance. The guidance is divided up into 15 broad Quick Guides and each one contains several more detailed In-depth Guides. There may be rules you are not aware of, so do explore the site thoroughly.

All you have to do is type in a key word into the search engine and all the relevant articles will appear. It is that easy!

Take a look

Internationalisation Fund now open for businesses in England


The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched its new Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses in England.

Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity (subject to eligibility and availability).

To secure a grant, you'll need to fund a proportion of your costs yourself. This varies according to where your business is based and will be either 40 or 50% of the total cost.

The Fund is currently available throughout England except Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, which has its own similar scheme.

The fund can be used to support areas including (but not exclusively limited to):

  • Market research
  • IP (intellectual property) advice
  • Translation services
  • International social media/SEO
  • Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
  • Independent market visits
  • Consultancy and other international commercial services

Is your business eligible?

  • The company must be based in England
  • The company must be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) with up to 250 employees
  • No more than 25% of the business is owned by an enterprise which is not a SME
  • Annual turnover does not exceed €50 million or annual balance sheet does not exceed €43 million

The fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Find out more

Work from home

Digital Tech Cumbria

Digital Tech Cumbria

Digital Tech Cumbria helps businesses across Cumbria to harness the benefits of digital technologies.

They provide free 1-2-1 support with digital experts, masterclasses, webinars and advice on improving your broadband performance.

Find out more on their website.

Keep your workplace ventilated to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19

HSE logo

With winter weather making workers reluctant to keep windows and doors open, it is even more important to ensure your workplace is adequately ventilated. Good ventilation helps reduce the risk from aerosol transmission and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Following useful feedback from businesses, HSE has updated its website on providing ventilation during the pandemic to make the advice easier to find and understand. HSE Advice

HSE Head of COVID Sector Policy Dr. Alexander Tsavalos to explains more in this short, useful video. HSE Video

Festive worker

Christmas is nearly upon us and it can be a most demanding time for those working throughout the festive season.

The run-up to Christmas is especially busy for those who work in haulage and distribution.

From people lifting heavy parcels around warehouses to delivery drivers moving products across the country, workers in this industry are vulnerable to the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling.

The HSE's step-by-step guide to manual handling at work should help you to minimise these risks. 

They also have advice for users and suppliers of agency/temporary workers, as many of these are specifically employed for the festive period.

Add your business for FREE to the Allerdale Business Directory

Allerdale Business Directory

University of Cumbria Campus consultation

Cumbria UNI

This is the last week of consultation on plans for a new Cumbria University campus in the heart of Carlisle that will help transform the education and skills opportunities for future generations, and productivity and economic fortunes of the city and wider Borderlands region.
Ahead of a planning application being submitted, have your say at  or via the website homepage:

The consultation runs until Sunday 19 December.

A message from Armstrong Watson LLP

AW Loans for business

5 common reasons to borrow right now

By Stephen Dinsmore, Corporate Finance Manager, Armstrong Watson LLP

Funding remains a priority for a lot of businesses right now, whether you are cash-rich, in a position to grow, or looking to ease pressure on your finances.

The world of funding can feel overwhelming sometimes, but with the right planning and advice, it could accelerate your growth plans. From buying equipment to spreading the cost of a tax bill, here are the popular reasons business owners are seeking funding right now.

1. Investing in something new

Businesses are always looking at ways to expand or improve efficiencies. They might look to make an acquisition, hire new staff, purchase property or add a new service line.

The majority of these plans require an element of funding, so strategically funding investments ensures that day to day working capital is unaffected.

2. Fulfil a big order or contract

Contract wins can be bittersweet: you’re growing, but you need resources to complete the job. You might need new equipment, premises or staff to help you deliver on your new project.

Asset based finance is a common solution, allowing businesses to leverage the assets used to fulfil the jobs and unlock vital funding.

3. Spread the cost of tax bills

You might be starting to think about your Corporation Tax deadline. Paying in one lump sum can impact a business’ cashflow, delay growth plans and divert money away from day-to-day operations.

You could spread the cost of your corporation tax with a business loan and retain working capital for other activities.

4. Manage debts

Reviewing business’ existing debts, can identify potential cost savings through refinancing to either more favourable terms or a longer repayment profile, freeing up additional cashflow.

5. Cover a cashflow gap

The pandemic is still very much with us, and many firms are feeling the effects of unpaid invoices, supply chain issues and reduced customer demand. In fact, earlier this year businesses were chasing £61bn in late payments.

There are a range of options available, like invoice finance, where you borrow against your debtors, which can help to cover these gaps.

There’s a whole host of reasons you might look to take out funding, but it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most suitable finance available.

To help you determine the best option for your business, please get in touch at or 07788 712078

Find out more here:  Armstrong Watson

Messages from Cumbria LEP


How We Can Help

Cumbria LEP are here to work with business owners to provide support and access to the right solutions to grow and develop your business.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy in Cumbria. Whether you’re an early stage start-up or a growing business looking to scale, there is inspiration and support in abundance right here on the doorstep.

CLEP bring together expert advice, events, masterclasses and mentoring as well as providing access to a range of dedicated support programmes both local and national. Advisers will work directly with businesses to create tailored solutions to unlock the potential of your company, whatever its size or sector.

They make it their job to understand the breadth of support available, saving you time and giving you the freedom to focus on running your business.

You could benefit from expert advice to:

  • Develop new products, processes or services
  • Secure business finance
  • Increase or start exporting
  • Adopt greener business practices
  • Develop your workforce skills
  • Connect and learn from like-minded businesses
  • Build resilience into your business

Connect with CLEP  0800 069 6444

Apply using the form

Messages from Cumbria Chamber

Cumbria Chamber

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce PEER TO PEER Programme
Are you a senior manager/business owner looking to learn from others?
Would sharing experiences, obstacles, successes, failures, best practice and hearing from others help you develop and grow? If so, you need to consider attending one of the chamber's peer networks.
Peer networks are perfect for senior managers/business owners looking to:

  • Overcome business challenges, benchmark against others and explore new               solutions to problems
  • Identify and take advantage of business opportunities
  • Develop and cultivate a trusted network of business peer connections
  • Evaluate your business style and develop your business skills
  • Share experiences and ideas with likeminded businesspeople

To be eligible to join a network you need to:

  • have been operating for at least one year
  • have at least five employees (full time or part time)
  • have a Turnover at least £100,000
  • have aspirations to improve, grow and develop your business

Peer Networks

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 on the website.

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 to go to our website and  see upcoming events.

apprentices ccc

Fantastic apprenticeship opportunities now available throughout Cumbria!

Apply now to start in March 2022.

Don't miss out - apply today! Cumbria Apprenticeships

Cumbria Forum

Cumbria Forum

A four-month online programme that allows the time and space to step away from the day-to-day and focus on building an Organisation for the Future.

The Cumbria Forum, as part of the Cumbria Growth Hub, is designed to help leaders of Cumbria-based SMEs who want to build businesses which focus on both profit and purpose.

As businesses start to move on from the immediate effects of the pandemic and the end of the Brexit Transition Period, it is time to look to the future. In that future, the old ways of doing business will not be enough. Organisations of the Future need to be responsible - not only to their employees and customers, but also to society and the planet. These are the success measures against which consumers and stakeholders now judge companies.

Covering topics such as business resilience, innovation and leadership, under an overarching theme of Responsible Recovery, the Cumbria Forum is delivered online in a safe and trusted peer-learning environment over four months.

The Benefits

The Cumbria Forum will help you to develop a plan for a business which is not just economically successful, but is also socially and environmentally responsible. With the support of the programme’s peer network and the challenge of the University and leading business experts, you will forge a clear path to turn your business into an Organisation for the Future.

Register your interest here

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

Lakes Distillery Crackers

7 out of 10

Great to hear that 7 local retailers were named in Bridget Dempsey's (News & Star) Top 10 of independent retailers providing the perfect Christmas present for family and friends this Christmas.

Well done Sinclair's and Akitts, Workington, Fagans and the Toy Shop, Cockermouth,The Cheesecake Queen Cumbria and the Enchanted Florist, Maryport and  Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite. See all of Bridget's choices : Christmas Top 10

Christmas Window

Cockermouth traders spread festive cheer

The News & Star reported that the annual late night shopping Spirit of Christmas was a big success.

Chamber of Trade chairman Andrew Marshall said: "It was by far and away the best ever. One shop had people queuing outside. "It was wonderful, customers were enjoying wine and mince pies, there was a lovely atmosphere. "All the traders have made such an effort and I think there's lots of support for local businesses. People can see the importance of having a thriving town." 

There was a best dressed festive window competition with 7 stores chosen from an exceptional array of entries.  See all the images, winners and highly commended businesses here: Cockermouth Festive Cheer



People rally round to help North Lakes Foodbank

North Lakes Foodbank has received a big festive delivery to be distributed among families this Christmas. The team was delighted with the boxes of new books and toys reported the News & Star. They will be handed out with food parcels during the festive period.

These are just some of the hundreds of gifts that have been donated following an appeal by a man who wants to bring Christmas smiles to children throughout North Cumbria who might miss out. Author Chris Bower, of Brigham, near Cockermouth, is hoping even more will be donated to the drop-off points in Carlisle, Keswick and Cockermouth in the coming weeks too. See the heartening story on their website

To get more information and see how you can help or donate, visit: North Lakes Foodbank

Upcoming events

Forthcoming Events from Cumbria LEP and partners

See the many varied business events and support in Cumbria.

Please see the Website link for further information - Cumbria LEP events

Cumbria LEP


Digital Tech Cumbria: Using Instagram to promote your business

Date: December 21st, 10:00 - 11:00

The number of Instagram users and its daily usage cannot be ignored but even for regular users Instagram can seem like a wall of noise.

Without a clear strategy many businesses post sporadically to Instagram, not listening for opportunities and missing people talking about their business.

This webinar delivered as part of the Digital Tech Cumbria programme along with CDI Alliance will show you:

  • why it is important to have a strategy on Instagram,
  • how to set up your account,
  • how to post updates
  • and why hashtags (#) are vitally important to include in your updates.

In this 60 minute session you’ll leave with a list of do’s and don’t for this popular social media platform. Register now.

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Funded by the Welcome Back Fund - funded by ERDF