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New programme to assist SMEs in Barrow area

A new programme to help the development of businesses in the Furness area will be launched shortly – and potential participants are now being sought.

The Be The Business (BTB) leadership and management development pilot programme is being delivered by business consultants RTC North on behalf of BTB, an independent, not-for-profit movement established to help UK firms improve their performance.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) is working with both organisations to help make sure that the pilot, based on the High Performance programme, achieves its aim of providing a boost to the economy in the Furness area.

Jo Lappin, CLEP Chief Executive, said: “CLEP is delighted to be supporting this Government-funded programme to support business growth and productivity in the Furness area.

“This is a peer-supported programme that will feature four exemplar companies, each hosting a workshop offering guidance and advice on specific aspects of business to other businesses in their area.

“CLEP recognises that learning together and from each other is highly valuable and really does benefit all of those involved. Places are limited so we would really like companies to come forward as soon as possible.”

Organisers are keen to hear from leaders in suitable exemplar companies, who would be prepared to host workshops, as well as potential participants who feel they would benefit from the pilot.

The course will include an initial benchmarking survey and business diagnostic to determine baseline SME performance, workshops with peers at a similar stage of business development hosted by exemplar businesses, on-going face-to-face coaching and access to peer discussions through informal networking and on-line discussion forums.

The pilot features an initial diagnostic and follow-up workshop, with the diagnostic being repeated after 12 months to assess the difference that it has made to the businesses involved.

The programme is aimed at businesses (10-50 employees) with a real desire to grow and improve their overall business performance, and that have the potential to improve their productivity. It is due to launch in April and will involve a time commitment of only four days this year for attendance at the workshops.

Contact details

Any businesses interested in taking part – either as a potential host exemplar company or a workshop participant – should contact CLEP Head of Business and Innovation Miranda Kirschel (

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