Motorway at night


Thinking outside the box with Cumbria Forum

There’s another chance this spring to join a programme that has helped dozens of Cumbrian businesspeople to enhance their capabilities.

Cumbria Forum is a six-month programme for owner-managers, MDs and senior decision makers from growth-oriented SMEs.

It is delivered by Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) and, thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund through Cumbria Business Growth, there is no charge to eligible businesses.

The idea is to help participants develop strategic thought processes and provide the skills and tools they need to evolve their business model.

They are taken out of their comfort zone and are encouraged to think about their business differently and reflectively, perhaps for the first time.

Pete Cornwall, Business Liaison Officer at LUMS, said: “In a nutshell, it’s a peer network bringing together a group of between 15 and 20 leaders of Cumbrian businesses taking them through a programme of one-day workshops to get them to think about their business – working on it rather than in it.

“We look at leadership, innovation and growth strategies. There’s a session looking at business models. We also do an exemplar company visit.

“The workshops aren’t academic lectures. They’re designed for people who are busy in their business to allow them to take a step back to think about some of the things they should be thinking about. It’s a chance to explore ideas in a safe, friendly group and to be challenged on them.”

Click here to read how Sally Phillips, of Chimney Sheep in Maryport, benefited from Cumbria Forum.

There is an opportunity for participants to have a group of MBA or undergraduate students work on a specific area of their business.

The programme also includes a series of masterclasses delivered by inspirational leaders from business and other walks of life.

The next Cumbria Forum intake begins in April but there’s a masterclass taster session in Workington in February with Shaun Wane, formerly Head Coach at Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club.

Under his leadership, the Warriors won every trophy available and were crowned 2017 World Club Champions.

He will provide insights into the passion and leadership skills necessary to succeed in high-level sport and how they can be applied in business.

The masterclass takes place at Hunday Manor Hotel from 5.30pm to 8.30pm on Thursday February 27th. To reserve your free place click here.

To enrol on Cumbria Forum or find out more about the programme, call Cumbria Business Growth Hub on 0844 257 84 50.

And listen to our podcast with Pete Cornwall from LUMS talking about Cumbria Forum and other programmes open to Cumbrian businesses:

Cumbria Business Growth Hub is delivered by a group of partners – led by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce. As part of this the ERDF Growth Hub project  is led by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and delivered by the Chamber in partnership with Lancaster University Management School. The project is receiving up to £2,326,103 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 (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 click here.