Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) is offering new, fully funded support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Cumbria – with all businesses encouraged to apply.

There are two new programmes of support - the Business Support and Advice Programme (BSAP) and Peer Networks, which together will offer support to SMEs, with up to 250 employees, to develop and grow their businesses.

The Business Support and Advice Programme (BSAP), will provide up to 3 hours of advice and support, which is specifically targeted at the needs of the business – be that financial accounting and sources of funding, marketing, sales and pricing product/services, legal advice, international trade, or skills and leadership development. CLEP will provide this service hand in hand with local professional service businesses and other business advisory organisations, to ensure that the package really does meet the need of the individual business.

The Peer Networks programme, a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders, led by CLEP, will be delivered locally by a number of advisory organisations including the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurial Spark, Leadership Secret, Thomas Jardine and Skills for Care. The programme will bring together a wide range of business people to work together on real issues facing today’s businesses, making sure that our businesses have the leadership capabilities to take their businesses to the next level. It will also be a really helpful networking opportunity to strengthen relationships across the business community.

These two new programmes are now recruiting ambitious businesses who want to develop. The programmes are funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and therefore businesses will be able to benefit from the programmes at no cost. However, demand is likely to be high and businesses are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Lynsey Parke, Business Adviser at CLEP, said: “I hope to see as many local businesses as possible getting involved and benefitting from these programmes. To discuss your needs, email”