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The Cumbria Chamber of Commerce Podcast

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Capitalising on the Purple Pound

We explore how businesses can cater for the 13m people in the UK who have a disability. They represent a market worth £249bn a year. In this podcast Julia Walker, of Lake District Mobility, talks about practical steps that businesses can take to make themselves more attractive to disabled customers and their families. Chamber Business Solutions is running a training day, ‘Collecting the Purple Pound’ at Newton Rigg, Penrith, on February 21st, 2019, when Alice Loader, of Alice Associates,...


Meet our new export adviser Tiffany

Tiffany Solender is a successful entrepreneur who uses her knowledge and expertise to help other Cumbrian businesses sell overseas. Her company, Pogu, based at Staveley near Kendal, supplies road safety products for children to customers all over the world. In this podcast, she talks about her new role as an International Trade Adviser with the Department for International Trade and outlines the range of help available from workshops to export finance and trade missions. To find out more...


Do your bit to stop domestic abuse

Detective Superintendent Vicki Ellis of Cumbria Police explains how businesses can help to stamp out the scourge of domestic violence. Domestic abuse is endemic. Cumbria Police respond to 7,500 incidents every year, of which 4,500 are logged as crimes. In this podcast, Detective Superintendent Vicki Ellis sets out how employers can spot warning signs, which may indicate that an employee is suffering domestic abuse, and how they can support staff who are victims of abuse. For more...


Could you mentor a young person?

David Leadbetter of Inspira explains how employers can get involved in a programme to raise the aspirations of young Cumbrians. Inspira’s Employer Mentoring Programme is designed to raise the aspirations of young people at secondary school. It is currently running in North and West Cumbria. In this podcast David Leadbetter, Contract Manager with Inspira, explains why the programme was set up, the benefits to employers who take part, how youngsters are selected for mentoring and how you...


Why it pays to be autism-friendly

700,000 people in the UK have autism. Sheila Gregory of Carlisle Mencap sets out how and why businesses should cater for them. Approximately 1% of the UK population have autism, around 700,000 people. That’s a large potential market for businesses to target as customers and a big pool of labour from which to recruit. Indeed, people with autism can sometimes have exceptional skills that make them very valuable employees. In this podcast, Sheila Gregory, Chief Executive of Carlisle Mencap,...


Tom Samson offers fresh hope for Moorside

The man driving plans for a nuclear power station in West Cumbria explains his strategy to save the project. NuGen’s £15bn plan for a nuclear power station at Moorside, next to Sellafield, would be the biggest private-sector investment Cumbria has ever seen. But the project is in trouble. NuGen’s owner Toshiba wants out while the Korean company that had been poised to replace Toshiba is having second thoughts. Currently, NuGen is shedding two-thirds of its workforce. In this podcast,...


Is something holding your business back?

A third of SME owners face difficulties in growing their businesses. Growth Hub adviser Adrian Luckham offers practical help. Polling commissioned by the British Business Bank suggests that one-in-three business owners want to grow their businesses but are unsure how to do it. In this podcast, Adrian Luckham, one of the most experienced advisers with Cumbria Business Growth Hub, identifies the barriers that are holding businesses back and explores ways to overcome them. To find out how...


Important news for WordPress users

Many businesses use WordPress to create and manage their websites. But big changes are coming. Our digital expert Paul Teague explains. More than a quarter of all websites are created by and managed using WordPress, the most popular online publishing platform on the web. But big changes are coming. The entire interface that's used to create posts and pages is getting an overhaul. It could mean that some websites break and many users who were once confident with the platform no longer know...


How to deal with employment tribunals

Lawyer Michael Bauer explains how businesses should respond to employment tribunal claims or, better still, avoid them altogether. The number of employment tribunal claims has doubled since fees for bringing claims were abolished last year. In this podcast employment lawyer Michael Bauer, of Cumbria Employment Solicitors, explains how businesses should deal with claims, how they can minimise costs and – best of all – how to avoid claims altogether. Chamber members receive £1m worth of...


The West Cumbria eco-revolution

Plans to develop the former armaments depot at Broughton Moor are taking off. We meet the man behind it all, Nigel Catterson. Derwent Forest is set to become a model for sustainable living. The Derwent Forest Development Consortium has unveiled a masterplan to make the former RN armaments depot at Broughton Moor into a national exemplar for sustainable living with up to 2,000 new homes, a hotel, treehouses and lodges, tree-top skywalks, an innovation centre and more. In this podcast,...


The secrets of a successful exporter

Playdale Playgrounds only began exporting in 2009 and now sells to 49 countries. MD Barry Leahey explains how they did it. The company manufactures outdoor playground equipment at Haverthwaite, near Ulverston, and sells its products across the globe. It has been so successful at exporting that it was selected as one of the Department for International Trade’s ‘Export Champions’ while Managing Director Barry Leahey received the MBE last year for ‘Services to UK trade and investment and...


What does the future hold for Carlisle?

City Council leader Colin Glover on plans for 10,000 new homes, Borderlands, Carlisle Airport, the Enterprise Zone and boosting the city centre. Carlisle stands on the cusp of unprecedented growth. The proposed St Cuthbert’s Garden Village would add up to 10,000 homes, potentially increasing the population of urban Carlisle by a third. In this podcast Councillor Colin Glover, the leader of Carlisle City Council, looks at the opportunities and challenges for businesses in the years...


Finance for businesses refused by the banks

Maria Ramsdale of FW Capital explains how the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund helps SMEs in Cumbria. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides loan and equity finance to SMEs that have been turned down by the banks. In this podcast, Maria Ramsdale of FW Capital, who is responsible for delivering the debt finance element in Cumbria, explains how the scheme works, who is eligible, what they can borrow and what they can use it for. To find out more about the Northern Powerhouse...


How to recruit, retain and retrain older workers

Chamber Chief Executive Rob Johnston explains how businesses can hang on to older workers and bring the best out of them. By 2030, half of all adults in the UK will be aged over 50. In parts of Cumbria the proportion will be higher still. Our ‘super-ageing’ population means that the working-age population is projected to shrink by 20,000 over the next two decades, making it progressively harder for employers to recruit staff. One solution is to retain older workers for longer by...


Pensions for the self-employed

Chartered financial planner David Finan looks at strategies to achieve a comfortable retirement if you’re self-employed. There are 4.8m self-employed people in the UK but fewer than a third of them are actively paying into a pension scheme. Some have other strategies to provide retirement income – perhaps selling their business to live off the proceeds or building up a portfolio of buy-to-let property – others have nothing to fall back on but the state pension. In this podcast David...


Allerdale means business

Allerdale is a great place to start a business. Some 71% of new businesses in Allerdale are still trading three years after launch, well above the national average of 61%. The high survival rate is in part explained by the pro-business stance of Allerdale Borough Council, which actively funds business support initiatives. In this podcast, Council Leader Alan Smith talks about plans for new starter workshops, the regeneration of Maryport, selling Allerdale to a wider audience, flood...


Podcast: Keeping a lid on interest rates

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is urging the Bank of England to think carefully before raising interest rates. We delivered that message in person when Sir Jon Cunliffe, the Bank’s Deputy Governor for financial stability, spoke at a Chamber lunch in Kendal last week. Sir Jon is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, which voted by 6-3 in June to leave rates unchanged at 0.5%. It meets again on August 2, when many commentators expect an increase to 0.75%. Chamber Chief Executive Rob...


How to break into nuclear

Renewed efforts are underway to help more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cumbrian win work in the nuclear sector. Almost 50 businesses attended an ‘SME awareness day’ in Workington last week to showcase the opportunities available in the sector. In this podcast, Eva Foran of Cumbria Business Growth Hub, Steve Dixon of Morgan Sindall, and Mark Turner, representing the Supply Chain Sustainability School, examine how SMEs can break into this potentially lucrative...


Why Cumbria LEP has to change

Local Enterprise Partnerships - LEPs for short - were the Coalition Government's 'big idea' to drive economic growth in the regions. But Cumbria LEP has come under fire for poor performance. In this podcast its new chairman, Lord Inglewood, sets out his vision. He explains more about the LEP’s role, and looks at the challenges and opportunities for Cumbria arising from Brexit, the Borderlands Growth Deal, and a shrinking working-age population. Cumbria LEP is drawing up a Local...


How to avoid a World Cup own goal

The World Cup is in full swing and Wimbledon fortnight begins on Monday. Major sporting events like these can cause a headache for employers as staff request time off to watch or, worse still, pretend to be ill and take a sickie. In this podcast Tom Scaife, a partner and employment specialist with the commercial law firm Baines Wilson, looks at how employers should deal with these issues and how to avoid related discrimination claims.