Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) is launching a free advice service for business owners based in Cumbria.

This initiative builds on previous business support programmes delivered by CLEP.

Businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as the funding for the initiative is only guaranteed until the end of March

One Barrow business has already benefitted from the support of CLEP.

Claire Needham of Boss Hair and Beauty said: “We had a business support session with Nic from Phil Collier Associates, funded by Cumbria LEP. Having an external advisor review our business with us really helped us to understand things that were working well and identify areas for development. The advice on the next steps to take and signposting further support was invaluable.”

The new Cumbria Accelerator programme offers between three to 12 hours of free support to businesses of any size and in any sector.

Paul Foster, CLEP's Head of Programmes, said: "Our advisors come from a variety of backgrounds and have expertise in different sectors. So, whatever your business you will have the opportunity to work with an adviser, who is approachable, knowledgeable and well-connected and who will help you to tackle your business issues and get you firmly on the road to success.

“Evidence suggests that businesses which access support are more likely to prosper than those which don’t. The Cumbria Accelerator programme will no doubt be a huge boost to those businesses that engage and access the support on offer.”

Edmund Wood from Belgrove Rum, a Cartmel-based business, said: “As a small business it’s incredibly important to have a group of trusted advisers who give you support, and the CLEP has added another string to our bow; excellent local knowledge, connections, grant advice - anything you need they’ll either know it or be able to point you in the right direction.”

The Cumbria Accelerator programme works in collaboration with eight organisations: AJ Lakes Consultancy and Training, Thomas Jardine & Co, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Phil Collier Associates, The Hospitality Counsellor, The Farmer Network, The Growing Club, and CBASS

To find out more, visit Cumbria LEP’s website or email