Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership is embarking on a huge survey to gauge the needs of the county’s businesses. 

The Cumbria Business Survey aims to gather information ahead of an unprecedented wave of inward investment. 

Proposals in planning include a nuclear power station at Sellafield, a tidal lagoon in the Solway, and work at BAE Systems in Barrow to build a new generation of submarines to carry the UK's nuclear deterrent. 

The telephone survey, carried out by BMG Research, will run for six weeks. Researchers aim to speak to a representative sample of 2,000 businesses, around 10 per cent of all enterprises in the county. 

Firms will be asked how they are performing, what skills they need and if they face any barriers to growth. 

They will also be asked for their views on the impact of nuclear new build and other large projects. 

Graham Haywood, director of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “I would strongly encourage businesses to take part in this survey. 

“I realise it will take some time out of their busy working days. However, this survey is very important. 

“Good quality information on the performance and needs of Cumbrian firms is vital for us to be able to develop effective strategies to boost businesses in the county and accelerate economic growth. 

“The information from the survey will help us better understand opportunities and barriers to growth. 

“Robust data is particularly vital at this time as Cumbria prepares for unprecedented levels of major investment over the next decade.” 

Cumbria LEP has secured £47m of funding from the Government’s Growth Deal and plus £87m from the European Funding Programme to improve infrastructure, skills and business support, so helping to unlock the county’s economic potential. 

The LEP is also mulling over applications for new employment sites suitable for new or expanding SMEs in rural areas. 

It has funding left over from the Cumbria Rural Growth Network Programme to help bring such sites forward. 

The deadline for applications for support closed on Monday. 

It expects to make a decision by the end of the month, with a view to having the sites open for business by March 2016.