An association has been set up to help Cumbrian businesses get the best professional advice on their doorstep.

The Professional Services Association (Cumbria) is a collaboration of leading professional services companies across the county.

Several companies have already pledged their support for the group and to give everyone in the sector a chance to find out more – and how they can get involved – a business breakfast has been planned for later this month.

Paul Dickson, chief executive and managing partner of Armstrong Watson, said there had been a long-standing need for the association.

The idea started to form after Mr Dickson chaired the professional services group at the Cumbria Nuclear Conference around two years ago, hosted by Carlisle MP John Stevenson.

Mr Dickson said: “It has become clear that we needed to bring together the voices of all Cumbrian professional services firms to tell their story and to shout about the expertise we have in Cumbria.

“The purpose of the association is to promote the skills and expertise which are available within professional services businesses in Cumbria so that more businesses and individuals use them – rather than sending their work outside the county to city firms in the likes of Newcastle, Manchester and London.

“Businesses in Cumbria don’t need to go out of the county yet they do.

“For the long term success of the professional services sector in Cumbria, we should keep that work in Cumbria.

“We have great people with real expertise. As professional services businesses, it is our job to help Cumbrian businesses be successful and create prosperity.

“Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership reports that the productivity of the Cumbrian professional services sector is lower than the national average.

“That is not good for Cumbria or Cumbrian businesses.

“We need to tell the story that we do have a successful, vibrant, high quality professional services sector in Cumbria, with the skillsets that Cumbrian businesses need and should use.

“By doing that we will as a sector attract the talent back to Cumbria. We will show businesses that we have the talent to help them prosper.”

The group is being headed up by Jonathan Lee, of PR firm 32 West.

Mr Dickson added: “Jonathan and the Professional Services Association (Cumbria) have my full support, Armstrong Watson’s full support and John Stevenson’s support.”

The Professional Services Association (Cumbria) business breakfast is aimed at giving people a chance to find out more about the association is being planned at the Halston in Carlisle on Thursday, July 25.

Any representatives from professional services companies who wish to attend this free event, 7.45am for an 8am start, are asked to register in advance on website Eventbrite.

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