The Cumbria Growth Catalyst is a one-stop-shop for business support for small-to-medium sized enterprises in Cumbria which do not qualify for help from European funded programmes.

It is therefore for businesses in the agricultural, nuclear, tourism and retail sectors and for businesses of between 1 and 250 employees in size.

It provides a triage and diagnostic service to help identify what support businesses need and then refers them to the most appropriate form of support, including the following:

  • Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses,
  • Department for International Trade
  • British Business Bank
  • To independent / private sector support services such as the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors, Chambers of Commerce, accountancy firms and universities.

Those businesses in sectors not eligible for European-funded programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), can benefit from the diagnostic service provided by the Cumbria Growth Catalyst, which will:

  • Identify need and make independent referrals to external providers, as necessary, through its triage function
  • Undertake a diagnostic assessment, lasting up to 3 hours and resulting in a written action plan with referrals to other providers and sources of support
  • Deliver intensive business ‘assists’ targeted at businesses with the opportunity, ambition, aspiration and greatest potential to deliver significant turnover growth over the next three years (this may include leadership development, investment readiness support for funding applications or plans for innovation, Research & Development, technology readiness levels (TRL) development – and this level of engagement may last for up to 12 hours)
  • Hold a wide range of workshops across Cumbria to help businesses grow and thrive, with a diverse range of topics such as marketing, website/social media skills development, preparation for future investments applications, leadership and management skills.

The Cumbria Growth Catalyst is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which is to provide Cumbria LEP with up to £246,000 per year for 2018/19 and 2019/20 to support local businesses. The service will be delivered by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and managed by Cumbria LEP and Cumbria County Council.

Further information and details about how to apply will be published shortly.