A PACKAGE of free, expert advice and support is available in Barrow for budding entrepreneurs and individuals considering a move to self-employment in 2024.

Helpful information on the practical elements of setting up and running a business will be covered to help give people the knowledge and confidence they need to get started.

A series of courses, which form part of the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal Business Support project and are delivered by Cumbria Business Growth Hub working with Cumbria LEP, will now be available in January, February, and March.

They will help to equip those attending with the skills and confidence to set themselves up in business or to take the leap into self-employment.

Lesley Robinson, Head of Business Support at Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “The new year is a time when people naturally start to think about the future, the changes they want to make and the goals they want to achieve.

“That’s why we are excited to offer the next set of courses within the Brilliant Barrow Business Support project to help remove any barriers that may be standing in the way of people realising their ambitions to become self-employed or start their own business.

“Barrow has long had innovative, inventive, hard-working people, brilliant businesses and a thriving supply chain economy. We hope people will take advantage of the courses on offer so that they can make 2024 the year they try something new.”

Topics covered during the sessions will include the legal process involved in starting a business, writing a business plan, understanding and accessing finance, marketing a new business, record-keeping, sales forecasting and cash flow and understanding tax.

A two-hour online workshop is aimed at anyone considering becoming self-employed. It will occur on Tuesday, January 23, between 9.30am and 11.30am.

The three-day courses are aimed at those interested in starting their own business. They will occur at The Forum, in Duke Street, Barrow, on January 24 and 31, February 7 and March 12.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, the Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council and Deputy Chair of the Brilliant Barrow Board, said: "These courses are free and will give those who take part access to invaluable advice and support, so that they are in the best position possible to bring their plans to life.

“A strong local economy is one that is broad and varied and spans a wide range of sectors.

“We want to see a new and diverse range of businesses emerging in Barrow. This will help the whole area to thrive and grow towards a more prosperous future.”

The courses will run between 9.30am and 1pm each day and places can be booked now by emailing info@cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk.