Support is on offer for rural businesses in Cumbria as part of a national fund.

The support is available for businesses in the Westmorland and Furness council area via the council’s the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) programmes, receiving £250k and £766,378 from these funds respectively.

This project has received £250,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and £766,378 through the Rural England Prosperity Fund.


This is delivered by Cumbria Business Growth Hub, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s business support arm, working with a number of partners, including The Farmer Network, Cumbria Tourism, Lake District National Park Authority, NFU and others.

Advice and grants are available for small and micro businesses in rural areas of Westmorland and Furness to support businesses to overcome challenges and farming businesses to respond to the phasing out of the basic payment scheme and opportunities like diversification, according to the chamber.

For farming and other land-based businesses, this includes capital grants for purchasing equipment and small-scale money-making improvements.

There are also ‘advice vouchers’ of up to £500 which can be used with an adviser of one’s choice, and there are workshops on offer to help navigate new national subsidy regimes.

For other businesses, it includes the same capital grants, and adviser support through the hub’s team, including access to financial and hospitality specialists.

Grants are available up to 40 per cent, and the minimum grant is £1,000, with an anticipated average of £15,000.

Suzanne Caldwell, the chamber's managing director, said: "Based on experience, many businesses have great ideas, they just need some funding to help unlock the delivery of them.

"But the scheme also involves opportunities to work with advisers and consultants to explore and develop project ideas – as well as to work on other ways to drive their businesses forward.

"Because of the mix of businesses in the area, and the other support being delivered by others through SPF funding, the council has asked us to focus firstly on farming and other land-based businesses (who have particular challenges given issues such as the phasing out of the basic payments scheme) and secondly on the visitor economy, although some support is available to other businesses."

For the capital grants, it’s a two-stage process – expressions of interest need to be submitted by 12pm on January 24, 2024, and full applications need to be submitted by 12pm on March 13, 2024.

To find out more, or access this support email,