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We mean Business...

Business support to drive innovation.

Cumbria has a major concentration of innovation assets and exciting developments across multiple sectors which are perhaps the UK’s best kept secrets.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership is working with the business and public sector community to develop an ecosystem that stimulates innovation and recognises our county’s world class innovation already taking place. We are also aiming to ensure that the county takes full advantage of innovation and new technology available to enable progress and productivity. That means supporting businesses with appropriate advice and guidance, providing them with a co-ordinated programme of support across key economic sectors and effectively signposting them to organisations who specialise in innovation.

CLEP’s Local Industrial Strategy identified the following Priorities for stimulating Ideas and Innovation in Cumbria, and action is under way to deliver on these commitments:

  • Ideas Priority 1: Anchor more R&D activity
  • Ideas Priority 2: Be the testbed for new ideas
  • Ideas Priority 3: Better commercialise our ideas
  • Ideas Priority 4: Innovative Cumbria programme
  • Ideas Priority 5: Identify opportunities for innovation in "clean growth"

From university departments across Cumbria and the North West through to national leadership programmes and organisations, there is always someone on hand who can help you develop that innovative product or service idea for which you need support. That includes key aspects of the end to end processes such as research, design, product engineering and manufacturing, compliance and market readiness. CLEP works closely with these bodies and schemes that offer more specialised support such as: InnovateUK, Knowledge Transfer Network, Made Smarter, Cumbria Manufacturing Service.

For more information about our Ideas and Innovation activities, please get in touch.


Winner of Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Exporting 2018, the radiation imaging specialist is helping experts at the Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant to assess the extent of the damage caused in 2011, when a tsunami following an earthquake disabled the power supply and cooling of three reactors at the site. Createc provided equipment to build up a 3D model of radiation levels inside the facility.

Createc is a multi-award-winning technology development company that solves challenging industrial problems using emerging technology in sensing, robotics and AI. Originally a spin-out from fellow Cumbrian nuclear SME REACT Engineering, Createc has been remarkably successful in developing global export business for its technologies. 100% of Createc’s customers are out-of-county, and over 70% of its revenue comes from outside Europe. Through its policy of local employment and local spending, Createc injects over £1M annually into the Cumbrian economy.

Photo inside the Createc company building with TV screen sensor camera visible

...and Innovation

Cumbria: A Place to Thrive

Cumbria is the place to set up a business and see it grow. Whether you’re a local business person interested in starting up a new business, or an international business looking for somewhere new to set up, Cumbria is the place to thrive. Cumbria’s industry has long-standing and robust networks and an open and welcoming business community. And all this, against a backdrop of breathtakingly beautiful landscape.

Cumbria: An Ecosystem for Productivity

CLEP is placing fresh focus on developing a Business Environment that helps inspire and support Cumbrian businesses and ensures our world class business capability is recognised. Above all, through our Local industrial Strategy (LIS) priorities, we are working in partnership with the business community to design an ecosystem that delivers maximum productivity for Cumbria.

Our LIS priorities for Business Environment were:

  • BE1: Develop and nurture a stronger enterprise culture in Cumbria
  • BE2: Increase the rate of fast growing businesses in Cumbria
  • BE3: Develop strong and productive sectors and networks
  • BE4: Enhance and exploit supply chain opportunities
  • BE5: Increase trade and new investment

We have an action plan in place that addresses these priorities. We are implementing programmes to build on the foundations of business support that exist in the county, including business growth, leadership and management programmes, resilience workshops, and networking opportunities.

Cumbria: Open for Business

CLEP is also developing an ambitious internationalisation strategy to promote our Cumbrian businesses to the export markets and get the message out there that Cumbria is ‘open for business’. We are seeking better ways for businesses to navigate through the funding and financing options available so that businesses can easily find the help they need to grow.

Cumbria: Bringing New Ideas Every Day

We are conducting a major mapping of innovation in Cumbria to demonstrate that we are best in class. And are bringing together innovators and entrepreneurs, and providing the peer support needed to help commercialise their great ideas. Our aim is to help foster an ecosystem of Cumbrian industry made up of businesses that have the support to grow, diversify, expand into new markets and prosper.

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