Budding entrepreneurs and established businesses in Copeland will now be able to access support through Cumbria Business Growth Hub thanks to funding from Sellafield Limited.

Support on offer through the growth hub ranges from access to expert advisers and a three-day business course to a part-funded subsidy scheme and free training following the investment from the nuclear organisation.

It is designed to help entrepreneurs turn a business idea into a reality and assist existing businesses with their growth plans.

Gary McKeating, head of community and development at Sellafield Ltd, said: “Starting a business is a big decision for anyone to take.

“It’s vital that people starting out receive high quality support in the early stages. That’s why we’re supporting this initiative.

“We want to see an increase in the number of start-ups and growth in existing businesses in Copeland so that our economy can become more diverse and sustainable.”

Lesley Robinson, growth hub project manager said it was “great” to reintroduce support services to Copeland.

“We offer free advice, support and training to anyone looking to start their own business, in the first three years of trading or to established businesses looking to develop and grow,” she said.

“We’re already running a three-day business course which covers key topics to run a business at The Beacon in Whitehaven starting at the beginning of August. We have a WordPress for Beginners course in September and we’re just in the process of tendering for trainers to run workshops as part of our Growth Hub offer.”

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, which manages Cumbria Business Growth Hub, said it would be exploring more opportunities to support businesses in the borough during the coming months.

Its latest move was also welcomed by Copeland’s mayor, Mike Starkie.

“Copeland Council has a real growth agenda and we want to see new businesses to be created and thrive in the borough,” he said.

“We wholeheartedly welcome this support being offered to new and existing businesses alike.

“I would urge anyone thinking of launching a business – and those who are already established but have ambitions of growing – to access this support.”