Improving Your Business

Improving Your Business

Cumbria Forum

Cumbria Forum

Delivered by Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), Cumbria Forum, 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 in a safe and trusted peer-learning environment over four months.

Business Excellence Programme

LUMS has developed a range of new programmes starting in 2022. Each of the online programmes are purposefully designed to be short, practical and impactful.

Resilient Supply Chains – starting 12th May

This programme will help you to turn unreliable supply into managed profitable demand with enhanced reputation. Drive to seek advantage from changed supply circumstances, consider strategy in the context of elongated supply chains and redefine supply success in your business.

Dates – all sessions from 9am – 1pm:

  • 12th May 2022 – Profitable scarcity – win when supply chains break
  • 19th May 2022 – Share the supply chain scars
  • 26th May 2022 – Unreliability – the positive spin

Find out more here.

Pricing with Purpose – starting 28th June

Profitable pricing trumps cost cutting every time, yet in times of profit squeeze we always reach for the cost cutting trigger. Material and wage inflation, distribution and shipping inflation, fuel inflation are all pushing companies towards the implementation of price increases, but many have never implemented a price increase or when they do it is laden with fear and trepidation.

Pricing is the third business skill. First, create a great product. Second, sell that product effectively. Third, price that product superbly. This programme takes an organisation from the perceived enforced need to make price increases to the effective implementation of new optimum pricing across its markets.

Dates – all sessions from 9am – 1pm

  • 28th June 2022 – The third business skill
  • 5th July 2022 – Best practice laid bare
  • 12th July 2022 – Marketing and implementation

Find out more here.

Enquire now

Open to SME businesses in Cumbria. European Regional Development Fund eligibility criteria applies.

Programme Elements
The Cumbria Forum includes two online sessions per month, interspersed with a facilitated peer consultancy process to apply learnings to your business. The focus on practical learning means there are no formal assessments.

  • Setting the strategic context: A 2-day Programme Induction to build trust and start the challenge.
  • Identifying growth opportunities: Online Interactive workshops that include business resilience, innovation and leadership, under an overarching theme of Responsible Recovery.
  • Facilitated learning journey: Learn from leading business experts and world-class academics at Lancaster University Management School.
  • Peer Consultancy: Take part in a peer-consultancy activity to gain fresh insights to your business strategy.
  • Masterclasses: Access Masterclasses and Leadership Insights from world-class speakers.

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.

Costs & Apply
This programme is fully funded and available to businesses which are eligible under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) criteria, as follows:

  • Based in Cumbria.
  • Employ fewer than 250 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.
  • Annual turnover of less than €50 million (or the equivalent in GBP).
  • Received less than €200,000 of de minimis State Aid in the last 3 years.
  • Are not a retail business or in another ERDF excluded category.
  • Operate business to business.

To discover more about the programme or to apply, please contact Ewan Pullan on 01524 510467 or complete this enquiry form.

Case Studies

Many Cumbrian Businesses have benefitted from completing the programme, read some of their stories below:

This initiative is part of the ERDF Growth Hub project which is receiving £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, with a £5,057,533 project total. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) 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

  • European Regional Development Fund
  • Lancaster University Management School
  • Cumbria Business Growth Hub

Get in Touch

Contact us today for help and advice on starting or growing your business.

Tel: 0844 257 8450