Partnership approach to business start-up support

Cumbria Business Growth Hub is delighted to announce an extension to its Business Start-Up Support programme which has successfully been supporting the county’s budding entrepreneurs and young businesses for more than 12 years.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund the project has been extended until 30th June 2023. Seeing the real value the BSUS programme offers, Allerdale Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Copeland Borough Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council are also contributing financially towards the continuation of support.

Lesley Robinson, Business Support Manager, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce manages all activity delivered through Cumbria Business Growth Hub. She said: “I’m absolutely delighted we can continue to offer vital business support services to those thinking of starting a business or in the very early stages of trading. Our flexible, intensive and client led support programme has helped hundreds of businesses start-up and grow within the county over the years. It’s great to have the backing of the Local Authorities and I look forward to working with them all further to deliver relevant and tailored support to individuals and businesses within each area.”

Allerdale Borough Council’s Senior Destination Manager, Graham Kennedy, said: “We are delighted to support Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s Business Start Up Scheme for the coming year. The Chamber are acknowledged experts in providing advice and support to new and existing businesses. We are very committed to supporting businesses in Allerdale, especially new business start – ups, existing businesses wishing to grow and farm businesses looking to diversify. The Chamber’s programme will provide the help these businesses need to prosper.”

Carlisle City Cllr Marilyn Bowman, Portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing added: “We look forward to working with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce to support the continued growth of Carlisle and the wider region. We appreciate the importance of the Business Start-Up programme and all the services and support it provides. We urge budding business people to get in touch and sign up for the help available.”

Sarah Mitchell, Economic Development Manager at Copeland Borough Council, said: “Copeland Borough Council are really pleased to be supporting the Business Start-Up Support programme with support from Sellafield Ltd Social Impact Fund. It’s really crucial to support budding entrepreneurs and young businesses in Copeland and through the BSUS programme and other council initiatives we’re able to strengthen the range of support that’s on offer.”

Cllr Mary Robinson, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Enterprise at Eden District Council said: “Inspiring Eden, the Council’s plan for economic recovery and prosperity, is underpinned by enterprise and entrepreneurship, and to this end it is great news that the business start-up support programme has been extended. We look forward to working with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce to unlock the full potential of our economy and our communities, to drive and accelerate economic recovery over the coming months.”

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure at South Lakeland District Council, said: “The Growth Hub has consistently provided an immensely useful service to businesses in South Lakeland and we are delighted to extend our support for Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s Business Start-Up Support programme. South Lakeland has a vibrant and varied economy and we at SLDC are committed to putting into practice measures that will promote the economic conditions necessary to stimulate growth and create opportunities. Supporting Cumbria Business Growth Hub is a major part of that.”

Through the BSUS programme there are a minimum of 12hrs support on offer including one to one adviser time, a three day business start-up course, access to a part funded subsidy, other free training, access to Cumbria Chamber Enterprise Network and signposting to other business support. To access support call 0844 257 8450 or email

The Growth Hub is receiving up to £2,528,767 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce