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.

All programmes are fully-funded for eligible small and medium-sized (SME) businesses, and are designed to tackle issues that often present barriers to business growth.

These workshops are delivered online in a safe and trusted peer-learning environment and designed to be highly interactive and create meaningful relationships to support you with moving your business forward.

Full details can be found on this leaflet here..

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