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Next steps for successful partnership working

Now that the country has moved to ‘Plan A’ and COVID-19 restrictions have been eased, Cumbria’s Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) of the Local Resilience Forum is being stood down.

However, given the excellent work that has been taken forward by BERRG, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) has formally adopted the Group, which will be known as the Business and Economic Advisory Group (BEAG) going forward.

BERRG has provided a vital route for the concerns of Cumbrian businesses to be raised at various levels of government as well as acting as an information outlet and a vehicle for members to share experiences and lessons learned.

With the UK’s move back from ‘Plan B’ to ‘Plan A’ COVID measures, which include the lifting of rules on mandatory face coverings and the dropping of compulsory use of COVID passports for venues, BERRG’s role will change.

CLEP Chief Executive Jo Lappin, who has chaired BERRG since its inception, said: “The move back to ‘Plan A’ measures signifies a new phase, with the focus now firmly on recovery.

“BERRG members have done a fantastic job over the past two years in championing the cause of Cumbrian businesses and helping to devise measures to protect our economy from the worst effects of the pandemic.

“This excellent work across the business, public and voluntary and community sectors will continue as part of CLEP’s governance rather than under the LRF structure and signals a significant step in the journey back to normality.

“I hope that everybody who has contributed so effectively to BERRG will continue to play their part as BEAG takes on the role of supporting the continued recovery and growth of our economy and businesses.

“BERRG has provided essential ideas and intelligence, which has helped inform policy and investment decisions. The opportunity to do this will continue under the new arrangements.”

Chief Fire Officer John Beard, Chair of Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum, said: “I’d like to thank all BERRG members for playing a vital role in defending the interests of Cumbrian business for almost two years now. The pandemic was a challenging time for all and particularly for local businesses, so the Local Resilience Forum are extremely proud to have been able to support.

“As the governance of BERRG moves over to CLEP, we can assure local businesses that an ongoing relationship and support network will continue as we move into the recovery phase of the pandemic.”

The establishment of BEAG within the CLEP structure is just the latest in a series of activities designed to support Cumbrian businesses.

Businesses can look forward to an expanded range of cost-free support programmes, courtesy of CLEP’s Business Support team. It is offering a number of new programmes aimed at Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) -- at no charge to participants -- to add to the range already on offer.

CLEP Business Growth Manager Lynsey Parke said: “Now more than ever, it’s essential that we support our businesses across the county.

“Our small businesses need targeted support and we have a range of programmes that will provide exactly what each of them needs. CLEP is here to help and we look forward to continuing to provide the right support to all of our local businesses as they deliver their recovery and growth plans.”

Whatever your priorities, talk to the CLEP team about how it can help you. Contact the team at Freephone: 0800 069 6444 or email:

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