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LEP's 2021 Peer Network programme opens for business

LEP's 2021 Peer Network programme opens for business Corinne Watson, Head of Business and Programmes at CLEP

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) has announced that the successful Peer Network programme has now opened for business in 2021. This free programme, which brings businesses together to share their collective experience, was successfully launched in 2020 and received excellent feedback, both locally and nationally.

Cumbria’s Peer Networks programme is now open and will provide structured peer to peer learning and development opportunities for local business leaders, delivered by expert facilitators through a series of high impact sessions.

The programme brings together SMEs with similar growth ambitions to share their experiences, challenges and opportunities, and alongside this one-to-one coaching to provide each business with bespoke support. Peer Networks helps businesses to make connections beyond traditional networking, whilst supporting business leaders and managers to improve their long-term personal and business performance.

Businesses wishing to take advantage of the scheme are urged to register quickly to secure their place on this dynamic programme.

A range of different delivery organisations are partnered with CLEP to deliver the programme to make sure that businesses can access the right support for them. Currently, the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce; Cumbria Tourism; Pink Link Ladies and Thomas Jardine & Co are delivery partners.

Corinne Watson, Head of Business and Programmes at CLEP, said: “The Peer Networks programme brings together a range of businesses to work together on issues of common interest from recovering from the pandemic, addressing market changes following EU Exit, considering business finance or HR issues, the impact of hybrid working, sales and marketing or any issues that will support business recovery and growth”.

“Businesses will be able to confidentially discuss their own challenges and get valuable feedback from colleagues and work together to identify practical solutions to overcome these.

“The programme will bring together a wide range of SMEs to identify and work through the real issues currently facing their businesses and the actions needed to address these and deliver on their long term ambitions for their company.”

Gerry Knight, Operations Manager at Lakeland Retreats, and a previous member of the Peer Network programme, said: “The Peer to Peer sessions were very well coordinated and well chaired. They ensured all participants were afforded sufficient time to present their piece and offered suggestions and ideas to help us reach solutions to our issues and help us consider things we perhaps hadn’t thought of previously.

It’s been great keeping in touch with all of the members and several connections have been made, both of a business and personal nature. I’d highly recommend the initiative and am very grateful of having had the opportunity to take part.”

The programme is 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.

For more information on the programme, or to register to take part, businesses should contact Jen Hewitt, Senior Payments and Programme Manager at CLEP: or 0800 069 6444.

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