ALMOST 50 primary schools in Cumbria are set to link up with the county’s MPs as part of a nosiness challenge programme launching next week.

The Centre for Leadership Performance’s (CfLP) 2021 Bright Stars programme, launching on Friday April 30, partners primary schools with local companies to set up and run businesses.

This year, the focus of the programme is shifting from making a profit – to making a difference by creating digital marketing campaigns to champion worthwhile causes chosen by the children.

CfLP Executive Director, Sarah Glass, said: “We are hugely grateful to Cumbrian businesses and our local MPs for supporting Bright Stars and enabling children to gain the full benefits of this fantastic opportunity to experience leadership.

“Our campaign aim of ‘making a difference’ is now perhaps more important than ever, and it is also an opportunity to when it comes to leadership it is never too early to start.”

The programme is designed to introduce Cumbrian primary school children to leadership, entrepreneurship and teamwork and get them excited about the world of business.

The programme, now in its ninth year, was rescheduled from earlier in the year because of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The delay and additional funding from Sellafield, BAE Systems and Cumbria Community Foundation has almost doubled the number of schools taking part.

The MPs are scheduled to take part in online discussions with the Bright Stars children on as a curtain-raiser to the 8-week programme starting on Tuesday May 4th with a finish date of Monday 28th June.

To ensure the COVID-safety of everyone taking part, digital contact will replace face-to-face interaction between children and their business mentors.

Ms Glass added: “We will reintroduce the original Bright Stars elements next year, but at this time, working to make things better in our world seems very appropriate and the children are looking forward to the new campaign challenge with the help of their business partners.”

Cumbria’s six MPs have already supported the programme with personal messages to the children from Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell, Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, Carlisle MP John Stevenson, Penrith & Borders MP Dr Neil Hudson and Westmorland & Lonsdale MP Tim Farron.

The programme is delivered and funded in partnership with local businesses taking part.

For 2021 Sellafield and BAE Systems are sponsoring supply chain companies and getting their own staff to work with schools through Bright Stars.

A celebration event to recognise the achievements of the children will be held early July before the end of the Summer Term.

To find out more about Bright Stars visit, email, or call 07843 684746 or 01900 824822.