A total of nine businesses from across Cumbria have been recognised for their success in exporting overseas – and will now share their experiences to encourage others to follow suit.

Door, playground and LED manufacturers along with food and drink producers were among the businesses to be awarded the title Export Champions by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Of the nine, seven were based in the south Cumbria area.

Grasmere Gingerbread, Hawkshead Relish, Kendal Nutricare, Oxley Development Company, of Ulverston and Playdale Playgrounds, based in Haverthwaite along with Wax Lyrical, of Lindal-in-Furness and SN Technical Services, Barrow, were among the 68 businesses in the North West to receive the accolade.

Carlisle-based Clark Door and Totalpost Mailing, from Alston, were also included.

They were selected by the DIT for their “inspirational approach to growing the UK economy through exporting” and will now encourage others in the region to follow suit by offering practical advice on how to export and guidance on how the DIT can help businesses break into new overseas markets.

Oxley Group has been an Export Champion for four years running and won the Best Exporter award at the in-Cumbria Business Awards 2018.

Marketing manager, Jayne Moorby, said the company were “delighted” with their inclusion, adding: “Export Champions display innovation and ambition in tackling overseas markets.

“At Oxley, we export 74 per cent of product to 34 countries around the world and our customers include major aerospace & defence companies such as Boeing, KAI, Saab and Airbus. 

“In our role as Export Champions we are involved in encouraging, advising and supporting other businesses to grow through exporting.

“Across Cumbria we have some world leading manufacturers; helping them to access global markets will help to grow the region’s economy for the benefit of us all.”

The Export Champions initiative – part of the DIT’s ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign – is a response to a desire from businesses to receive peer-to-peer support on exporting.

There are currently 250 Export Champions active across England, with the DIT eager to grow the number to at least 1,000 by April 2020.

The push comes at a time when the global appetite for British goods continues to grow, with UK exports increasing in 2018 by two per cent to more than £248 billion in 2018.

The Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox MP, said: “Each of our Export Champions has been carefully selected because of their exceptional exporting track record and ability to play an important role in encouraging, advising and supporting businesses who are new to marketing themselves overseas.”

“I encourage others to get in touch to see how they could benefit from the programme and grow their business through international trade.”

The DIT is also inviting businesses to become an Export Advocate to support a new online exporting community where businesses can ask questions about overseas trade as well as receive advice on overcoming the challenges of entering new markets.

More information on the Export Advocate community, along with an exporting toolkit, can be found on the www.great.gov.uk website.