Thursday, 03 September 2015

Time running out for Cumbrian firms to win prize worth £10,000

Time is running out to enter Local Business Accelerators, our scheme to boost the fortunes of fledgling Cumbrian businesses.

Six businesses across north and west Cumbria will each win £10,000 worth of free advertising in the News & Star and our sister titles The Cumberland News, Times & Star and The Whitehaven News.

Winners also get free mentoring from some of the leading lights of Cumbrian business.

The panel of mentors includes Katie Milbourn of Walby Farm Park, Chris Reay of Reay’s Coaches, Charles Watt of Cranstons Butchers and Bill Dobie of Dobies Group.

The scheme is sponsored by Armstrong Watson and the University of Cumbria.

Entries are invited from businesses between one and five years old.

All entrants get a voucher for 20 per cent off an advertising campaign (terms and conditions apply).

The deadline is this Friday. Apply online at

Andy Walsh, who runs The Coffee Kitchen in Challoner Street, Cockermouth, has entered already.

He set up the business in the former Reef nightclub in September last year, billing it as an “artisan coffee house”.

It now employs a dozen staff and has rapidly become the place to go in Cockermouth for high-quality teas and coffees, tasty bites and sublime organic bread.

Mr Walsh, 46, said: “I’m very pleased with how it has gone so far. We work really hard on customer service and we try to make sure people feel we’re part of the community.

“We have a Spanish conversation class that meets here, Friends of the Earth meets here from time to time and lots of business people come in having meetings, using it as a mobile office.

“We have just started doing a few bistro evenings and coffee tastings on a Sunday afternoon.

“The benefits of £10,000 worth of free advertising go without saying.

“The mentoring would be useful too. I’d like to discuss ideas with somebody more experienced than I am.”


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