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Businesses urged to register quickly for Peer Network programme

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) has announced its first delivery partners to help roll out an innovative free business support programme within the county.

Cumbria’s Peer Networks programme will get underway shortly, offering over 100 local businesses the opportunity to build resilience, develop their capability and grow.

Businesses wishing to take advantage of the scheme are therefore urged to register quickly for the first cohorts, which are due to start during the week commencing Monday, November 16.

CLEP will be supported in delivering the programme by the following organisations:

  • Cumbria Chamber of Commerce
  • Entrepreneurial Spark
  • Skills for Care
  • The Leadership Secret
  • Thomas Jardine & Co.

It is part of a national peer-to-peer networking programme for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) leaders who want to grow and develop their organisations for future success.

Miranda Kirschel, CLEP’s Head of Business and Innovation, said: “We are delighted to announce that we have engaged the support of some of our leading organisations to help us deliver this important new support programme for Cumbrian SMEs.

“Through the Peer Networks programme, we create diverse cohort groups of individuals to collaboratively work through common business issues. Through interactive action learning, we’ll enable participants to discuss their own challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them.

“From finance and HR to sales, marketing and more, expert facilitators will create a trusted support network that works for participants, helping them to build and strengthen their business and improve its overall performance.

“With the first cohort due to commence shortly, we would strongly urge all businesses who are interested to register with us now.”

Cohorts of 8-11 leaders from the SME business community will participate in each network. Participants have a choice of joining a mixed sector cohort or they could opt for a family business, visitor economy and retail, manufacturing or construction focused group.

Led by an experienced facilitator, these Peer Networks will typically meet fortnightly as part of delivering 18 hours of action learning through 2-3 hour sessions. In addition, individual one-to-one support will be provided to help business leaders implement and manage change.

The programme is open to any SME business that has:

  • Operated for at least 1 year
  • At least 2 employees
  • A turnover of at least 100k
  • An aspiration to improve

The programme will commence this month and cohorts will be managed in a phased process, through to the end of March 2021.

The Peer Networks Programme is funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in response to a commitment made in the 2019 Business Productivity Review. The local accountable body for the Peer Networks programme is Cumbria County Council.

For more information on the programme, or to register to take part, businesses should contact Cumbria’s Peer Networks Project Manager Helen Atherton --

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