Improving Your Business

Improving Your Business

Cumbria Forum

Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) have continued to engage with businesses across Cumbria throughout the COVID-19 situation with existing cohorts of Cumbria Forum , Made Smarter Leadership Programme and Productivity through People all moving to online delivery. LUMS have also designed a new fully funded peer-learning programme specifically to support SME leaders in Cumbria following the Coronavirus pandemic. The 5-week programme, delivered through Cumbria Forum, will explore ways to drive business recovery in the short-term as well as planning for a more resilient long-term future.

Delivered by Lancaster University Management School, Cumbria Forum is designed to support businesses by providing a trusted peer to peer network and activities to stimulate self-development and business growth.

This innovative six-month programme draws upon key elements of Lancaster University’s research into how entrepreneurs learn and grow. It gives owner-managers and senior managers the opportunity to engage with a leading university and other like-minded businesses, providing a supportive and trusted environment to work on issues and opportunities surrounding business growth.

The programme includes:

  • Overnight Experiential
  • Masterclasses
  • Development Planning Tool
  • Growth Workshops including Business Model Canvas and Access to Finance
  • Company Visit
  • Online Forum

Benefits include:

  • Develop a network of like-minded SMEs
  • Access to a series of inspirational speakers
  • Supportive space to work on business development and planning
  • University support and student consultancy
  • Networking with over 100 growth businesses
  • Online platform

Business Model Innovation

Lancaster University Management School have launched a new online peer-learning programme ‘Business Model Innovation’ from Cumbria Forum, starting on the 19th November 2020, specifically designed to help Cumbria SMEs innovate within their Business Model to build resilience and flexibility in order to withstand external forces and market crises. The fully-funded online programme is delivered in 3 workshops over a six-week period (one session per fortnight), which break business modelling down into three components: creating value, delivering value and capturing value – LUMS – Cumbria Forum Business Model Innovation Flyer


Cumbria Forum is available only to ERDF eligible businesses:

  • Based in Cumbria
  • Employ fewer than 250 full-time employees
  • Has an annual turnover less than £40 million
  • Has received less than £160,000 of publicly funded support in the last 3 years
  • Are not a retail business or in another ERDF excluded category
  • Operate business to business


This programme is fully funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is there free of charge to eligible businesses.

How to Apply:

For further details or to apply for the programme, please contact Pete Cornwall on 01524 510728 or email us at


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