What cost £850 in London but only £65 in Cumbria?  A course in basic coding run by Chamber Business Solutions, the training arm of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.

Catherynn Dunstan, business solutions manager, said: “It was a day course charged at £65 for chamber members and £120 for non-members. I found the same course being offered in London for £850.

“It really was the same course, identical in every respect.”

Catherynn launched Chamber Business Solutions nine years ago next month.

The first session was on Facebook for business – then a ground-breaking concept – presented by digital marketing specialist Paul Teague, who still delivers training for Chamber Business Solutions.

Catherynn recalled: “I looked at what training was available inside and outside Cumbria and found there were only a handful of courses in the county that were open to all businesses, as opposed to in-house training.

“We have the trainers here in Cumbria and the subject experts. I generally favour subject experts rather than professional trainers who have learned a subject. An expert can answer all the questions thrown at them.”

In the early days, the chamber offered one course a month. Today, Chamber Business Solutions runs 150 a year, training more than 2,200 people.

The sessions vary from 1.5-hour updates, for example on employment law, to half-day and full-day workshops, and accredited learning such as a six-day introduction to marketing course.

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The courses are open to everyone but chamber members get a substantial discount.

Prices start at £15 for an update up to £1,500 for accredited training running over several weeks.

Most full-day sessions cost £95 for chamber members or £145 for non-members.

Catherynn said: “From the beginning the courses worked. People realised they were able to get quality training without having to travel out of the county.

“Previously, they were having to spend hundreds of pounds and travel to Preston or Manchester.”

Chamber Business Solutions also offers in-house training and can tailor the offer to meet the bespoke requirements of businesses.

To find out more call Catherynn on 0845 226 00 40 or email her at catherynn@cumbriachamber.co.uk