Motorway at night


Funding and useful resources

The Armed Forces Families Fund is now accepting applications

Grants of £30k to £80k are available for projects that improve support for Service partners and spouses to promote, enhance and utilise the skills and experiences they bring to the workplace.

Funding is for projects that:

  • Improve access to employment information & knowledge
  • Improve access to education, training & qualifications
  • Communicate the skills & experiences spouses & partners bring to the workplace

Click here to find out more

Lloyds Bank Foundation – specialist programme

If you’re a charity with a turnover of between £25k to £500k there’s a new funding programme you may be interested in.

If you work in any of the following areas you may be able to apply for a 3 year unrestricted grant of up to £75k:

  • Addiction
  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Care leavers
  • Domestic abuse
  • Homelessness
  • Offending
  • Sexual abuse & exploitation
  • Trafficking & Modern Slavery

Click here to find out more

Barclays Demo Directory

Barclays Eagle Labs have launched their online Barclays Demo Directory. It’s a free service for founders to showcase their business to potential investors as part of their capital raising journey, helping to unlock growth across the UK.

The Directory makes it as easy as possible for founders to connect with those who can provide the capital they’re looking for. The Directory also makes it easier, cheaper and less time-consuming for founders to explore access to capital by connecting them to a network of attested investors.

Click here to find out more

Positive Enterprise competition

Bring a business idea to life with Cumbria Community Foundation’s Positive Enterprise competition.

If you or anyone you know are aged 14-25 in Allerdale or Copeland, you could be in with a chance of winning £1,000 as well as six months of expert support to help turn your ideas into reality.

There’s also an opportunity to become a mentor to help and encourage these young people to prosper. If you would like to be involved, please complete the Positive Enterprise Mentor Application Form and return it via email to

More information on the competition can be found here

Barclays Product Builder Programme

Powered by Barclays Eagle Labs funded by UK Government, the Product Builder Programme is designed to fit around the busy lives of idea-stage entrepreneurs. Delivered online the programme will teach participants how to validate their digital product idea and then develop, test and evolve it using customer feedback.

Product Builder helps entrepreneurs develop digital products.

It offers:

  • A challenge-led approach that starts with identifying the problem and not the solution. Entrepreneurs who apply should have a clear idea of, and expertise in, the problem that they want to solve with their digital product
  • The expertise to help you develop digital products, such as website applications, mobile applications and software as a service (SaaS).

Throughout the programme, participants work closely with product experts and meet likeminded founders who can share your journey.

Applications close on 23rd November so click here to find out more

FREE online course – Food Safety in Catering Level 2

For anyone who works or would like to work in the food industry, this course is an essential requirement, covering:

  • Food Safety in Catering Level 2
  • Understanding how to be successful
  • Plus one of the following units: Customer service skills, Interpersonal skills or Equality and diversity at work

Study online at times to suit you with individual support from one of our tutors on Tuesday mornings. This course usually takes learners 1-3 weeks and you’ll need to come into an Adult Learning Centre at the library in Barrow, Kendal or Penrith to take the final exam.

To find out more, contact Barrow Adult Learning on 01229 407630 or

Business Companion: A helpful business tool

We understand that trading standards law can be hard to keep up with sometimes. But with the help of Business Companion, you can learn about new trading standards laws and if they apply to you.

Following the new single use plastic bag ban, which came into place on 1 October 2023, we would recommend you read the free detailed guidance provided by Business Companion to help you understand the new rules.

Shott Scale Up Accelerator open – Apply by 27 November

The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub have opened their Shott Scale Up Accelerator for applications! Are you a senior decision maker in an engineering or technology SME with big plans to scale? The Shott Scale Up Accelerator are experts in scaling businesses, providing all the training, skills and insights you need to scale your enterprise successfully.

They offer:

  • £10k grant for use on a leadership course of your choice, worldwide access to an unrivalled network of mentors from the UK’s leading engineers in industry, who have founded, scaled and sold businesses many times over
  • 12 months of support, plus 35hr of training with a cohort of deep tech peers and personal development coaching
  • A dedicated relationship manager to make connections to investors, corporates, experts and to guide you through the programme
  • Travel and accommodation expenses covered

Click here to find out more

Partnership opportunity

Seeking marine expertise to develop a first-of-its-kind autonomous vessel (a satellite at sea) that revolutionises the way ocean data is collected.

Aquallite Data Ltd are a start-up company striving to ensure the needs of the ocean are put first by providing ocean-scale, dynamic, data for academic research, industrial development, governmental planning, and environmental conservation. To do this, we plan to deploy a fleet of always-at-sea autonomous vessels to acquire ocean data repeatedly, which is then delivered to users via a self-serve, software platform.

Our core capability is in software and more specifically, data software. We are, therefore, seeking to partner with a Cumbria-based company or individual, with marine expertise, to help us develop a first-of-its-kind autonomous vessel that revolutionises the way ocean data is collected. If you are interested, please contact Neil McEwan or call 07508 379254.

Landmark Procurement Act

New laws have been introduced aimed to help more small businesses win public sector contracts. The Procurement Act aims to give small and medium-sized businesses a bigger share of the £300bn spend on public sector contracts each year.

Read more here

University of Cumbria – introductory sessions

If you want to find out more about the Project Management Skills Bootcamp delivered by the University, you can find out more by attending an introductory session:

13th Dec:

If you want to find out more about the Leadership & Management for the Visitor Economy Skills Bootcamp delivered by the University, you can find out more by attending one of the below introductory sessions:

7 Dec:

10 Jan:

Finally the University are holding introductory sessions for their Project Manager Degree Apprenticeship – there are a number of options to choose from:

29th Nov

16th Jan:

8th Feb:

6th Mar:

2023 Westmorland and Furness Tourism Summit: ‘Strengthening partnerships for a more sustainable future’

Places are booking up fast for the 2023 Westmorland and Furness Tourism Summit: ‘Strengthening partnerships for a more sustainable future’ Wednesday 22 November 10am to 1pm (registration from 9.30am).

Following the success of previous Eden Tourism Summits the Council are delighted to invite you to the twelfth event and first since they became Westmorland and Furness Council.  This year’s Summit will take place at the Roundthorn Country House, Penrith, CA11 8SJ and will be a morning session followed by a buffet lunch.  The Summit is free to attend.

The Summit brings together exceptionally high profile tourism professionals who will speak about important tourism issues which will undoubtedly impact and hopefully benefit your business.

The year’s Summit will have a sustainability theme and will be chaired by Jim Walker, Chair of the Eden Tourism Network.  There will be a welcome by Sam Plum, Chief Executive of Westmorland and Furness Council and Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council.

The speaker line-up includes:

  • Lee Hillyard, A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project Director, National Highways
  • Daniel Holder, The Quiet Site
  • Andrew Plimmer, Group Development and Communications Manager, Everbright Hotels
  • Gill Haigh, Managing Director, Cumbria Tourism
  • Molly Hogg, Programme Manager: Low Carbon Communities CAFS
  • Gemma Proctor, Sustainable Tourism Officer, Cumbria Tourism

There will also be an open panel discussion following the presentations and opportunities for Q&A sessions after each speaker.

Places are limited, you can register now online via TryBooking:

Registrations will close at midday on Friday 17th November 2023.

Good business drop-ins are back

Through the Business Decarbonisation partnership managed by CAfS and delivered with UK SPF funding, Future Fixers (a delivery partner) are again delivering Good Business Drop-ins on the third Thursday of every month from 8am to 12noon at Kendal Town Hall.

Join for breakfast and networking between 8am and 9am. Business advice and co-working from 9am to 12noon.

You can just ‘drop in’ or message Future Fixers to book a free half hour slot with one of their expert advisers:

  • David Brown – Coaching taster sessions, training and wellbeing
  • Karen Bentley-Brown – Good business health checks, strategy and planning
  • Tim Maiden – Environmental and carbon management
  • Claire Steele – Good web design and marketing
  • Kristy Heywood-MacDonald – Financial & accountancy advice
  • David Beuzeval – Third sector governance, strategy and income advice

Email or call 07854 751169 for more information or to book your free half hour slot.

Grants Available to Businesses in Westmorland and Furness

CLEP is pleased to be delivering the Shared Prosperity Fund business support programme for Westmorland and Furness Council. This includes two new grant support programmes:

  • Catalysing Growth – grant funding of up to £7,500 revenue costs to help your business to develop new market opportunities either at home or abroad.  This could cover consultancy support to help you develop your plan to move into new markets, the cost of a trade mission to explore new markets, expert advice to develop your systems and processes to extend your market reach etc.
  • Investing in Growth – grant funding of up to £20,000 of capital costs to grow your business. This could be a new piece of equipment, extension to your premises or any other investment that will help you to grow your business.

You will need to co-invest in the project, by providing at least a 50% contribution. So, if your project costs £40,000 you would need to pay at least £20,000.

If you are interested in finding out more please email: and we will contact you with further information.