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How to Start a Business in Cumbria

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Improve your chances of success!

How to Start a Business in Cumbria

Starting a business in Cumbria

If you are thinking about starting a business in Cumbria or would like to grow your existing business, we would love to help you.

Start Your Own Business in Cumbria contains resources and the information that will help give your venture the best chance of success. It also highlights organisations who offer friendly advice and the services that you are likely to need as a new startup or local business owner.

Grants | Networking groups | Business advice | Mentoring | Co-working spaces

Starting a business in Cumbria

Free Startup Resources

Getting it right from the start can help to prevent problems later.

To help you with this we have created a vast selection of resources and they are all completely free!

Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or already running a business in the area, this web page is designed to provide you with valuable information and resources to support your journey to success. Cumbria, located in the North West of England, offers a unique business environment with stunning landscapes, a thriving tourism industry, and diverse economic opportunities.

Demographics of Cumbria

Cumbria is a county known for its breathtaking natural beauty, including the Lake District National Park and its UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As of the latest available data, the estimated population of Cumbria is around 500,000 residents. The county encompasses several major towns and cities that contribute to its economic growth and cultural heritage.

Major Towns and Cities
  1. Carlisle: Carlisle is the county town of Cumbria and has a population of approximately 75,000 residents. It is a historic city with a rich heritage, offering opportunities in sectors such as retail, tourism, education, and healthcare.
  2. Barrow-in-Furness: Located on the Furness Peninsula, Barrow-in-Furness has a population of around 67,000. It is known for its shipbuilding industry, advanced engineering, and nuclear energy sector.
  3. Kendal: Situated in the southern part of Cumbria, Kendal has a population of approximately 30,000. It is a market town and a popular tourist destination, known for its cultural events, outdoor activities, and independent businesses.
  4. Penrith: Nestled in the Eden Valley, Penrith has a population of around 16,000. It serves as a gateway to the Lake District and offers opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, retail, and hospitality.
Local Authorities in Cumbria

To navigate the business landscape effectively, it's essential to be familiar with the local authorities that govern different aspects of running a business in Cumbria. Here are the key authorities in the county along with their website links for further information:

Business Support Organisations

Cumbria provides a range of resources and support networks for businesses at every stage of their journey. Whether you need assistance with funding, advice, networking, or general guidance, these organisations can be instrumental in your success. Here are a few noteworthy organisations dedicated to supporting businesses in Cumbria, along with their website links:

We hope this guide provides you with a solid foundation for starting or running a business in Cumbria. Explore the rest of our website for more detailed information, guides, and additional resources that will help you on your entrepreneurial journey in this stunning county. Good luck!

FREE startup workshops

If you are thinking about starting a business, our FREE three-hour ONLINE workshop is definitely for you!

Open to everyone, our sole aim is to increase your chances of success. We do that by explaining:

The reality of running a business; the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them; which legal status is likely to be most suitable; funding, grants and managing your money; business planning and cashflow forecasting; finding and keeping customers.

Free startup guide

Start Your Own Business in 2021

Download the 2024 edition of our Free Start Your Own Business guide

An interactive step-by-step guide which also includes all of the most important subjects covered in an easy-to-read way with links to useful online articles and relevant contacts.

The idea of starting your own business can be incredibly exciting and who can blame you for being tempted?

However, the sad truth is that far too many new enterprises fail in the early stages. Our aim is to make sure that you don’t become one of them.

This guide explains the key start-up subjects in simple English.

There is also plenty of help available in the area and much of it is free - please do make the most of it.

Read more about what our Free guide contains and how you can download it.
Starting a business in Cumbria

Key Contacts in Cumbria

'You don't know what you don't know' is a phrase that is so applicable to starting a new business.

Cumbria is a great place for start-ups but your chances of success are dramatically improved if you make the most of the support that is available locally. Click on logos to visit their websites.


Graham R Turner
We prepare Accounts/Self Assessment Return & specialise in Sole Traders, Partnerships, Income from Property, Tax Enquiries – We are here to help! Established in 1997 and with over 36 years combined experience, Graham R Turner accountancy and taxation services specialise in Sole Traders and Partnerships. We bring a depth of experience and knowledge when it comes to managing your self assessment, tax returns and accounts preparation as well as getting prepared for implementation of ‘Maxing tax digital’ (MTD) which starts in April 2021, we are ready, are you? If you are considering being self-employed or are currently self employed as a sole trader or partnership looking for a bespoke service in and around the Carlisle area or in the Tyne Valley, Northumberland or North Tyneside. We can arrange to come to you at work, home or a convenient location to discuss your individual requirements in more detail.

Web design

Business Toolbox Cumbria
Cost-effective, smart solutions to make your business stand out without breaking the bank! I have a passion for designing websites that work as an excellent “shop window” for your business, that deliver smart and stylish solutions, but that do so in a cost-effective and functional way. I offer you joined up thinking and solutions across different marketing services under one roof, whether this is web design, brand, digital or print marketing, assistance with social media or a mix of these elements. I work with you to give you the right results and to work as part of your “toolbox” throughout the project, and for as long as you need support and services. I love doing this because I learnt through the years of developing sales and marketing teams and business strategies that websites need to be an integral part of what you do, and not an expensive ornament that just look smart. If you would like to work with someone who has “been there and got the t-shirt” on marketing and finding cost-effective solutions to raise the profile of a business do get in touch. I would love to chat.


Cumbria LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership)
Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership provides a strategic lead in all activities contributing to the growth and vibrancy of the countys economy and where appropriate takes positive action, using the skills, capabilities and networks of the LEP partners. Its aim is to develop Cumbrias economy while maintaining its uniqueness in terms of landscape, culture and quality of life. The partnership is about much more than allocation of funding and supporting applications for the Regional Growth Fund. It wants to create new working practices, making the most of opportunities to support private sector led investment and initiatives.


FSB Lancashire & Cumbria
FSB Lancashire & Cumbria is the local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). It was formed in 1974 as the National Federation of Self Employed and represents the interests of small and medium-sized businesses locally and nationally. They offer a great package tailored to your needs if you are thinking about starting a business in the area. Contact: Paul Foster Development Manager


Cumbria Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Our Aim is to be innovative, committed and financially strong business organisation for cumbria, seeking opportunities to support and represent business whatever their size and sector. Address: 3rd Floor Broadacre House, 16-20 Lowther Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8DA


Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency
We help both new and existing businesses in the Eden and South Lakeland districts of Cumbria. We also support farmers and rural businesses producing distinctive, Cumbrian products throughout the county.

Start-up articles

100's of free startup articles

We have created a collection of 100s of startup articles to help anyone with whatever stage they are on with their business journey. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone before you and we can learn from what they got right and avoid the things that have been proved not to work so well.

You can see the full list of 'articles' at: How to start a business