As the tourism and hospitality sector readies itself to safely welcome visitors back to Cumbria when the time is right, Cumbria Tourism is supporting businesses in a variety of ways.

Cumbria Tourism has been confirmed as a Gateway organisation for the Government’s £2billion Kickstart scheme, which provides fully funded six-month work placements for 18-24 year olds.

The scheme will come as a lifeline for many business owners struggling to find and train staff amidst the loss of many European workers and the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

“Kickstart is a fantastic opportunity, both for businesses and Cumbria’s young people,”said Jonny Winter, communications executive at Cumbrian Tourism.

“Not only are employers recompensed for wages, National Insurance contributions and minimum pension contributions during the placement, the initiative also provides up to £1,500 per person for work-based training and set-up costs alongside invaluable on-the-job experience.

"It’s a real opportunity for Cumbria’s young people to take the first step towards a fulfilling career - a Kickstart placement will help open doors in the future.”

Alongside Kickstart, Cumbria Tourism is also offering a wide range of business support and advice on behalf of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP).

Eligible businesses will benefit from 18 hours of regular support before the end of March 2021 with the Peer Networks Programme, a supportive community for businesses to come together and discuss practical solutions for issues and concerns.

“2020 was the year Cumbrian businesses came together to support each other like never before,” said Cumbria Tourism Managing Director Gill Haigh, “and it’s this spirit of collaboration and teamwork which will help our visitor economy bounce back once it is safe to welcome visitors to the county.

“Business owners, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), have often felt isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular communication with those in similar positions has been a lifeline, not only to share experiences but also for the important social aspect and reminding everyone that they’re not alone.”

SMEs are also able to benefit from the Business Support and Advice Programme, funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered by Cumbria Tourism on behalf of CLEP. Offering up to three hours of free advice and support the programme is specifically targeted towards individual business needs and will help deliver solutions to their unique challenges.

Employers interested in the Kickstart Scheme can learn more and submit vacancies at Those interested in the Peer Networking and Business Support and Advice programmes should email for further information.