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Enterprise Answers lends its support again as Cumbria’s dynamic producers prepare for the UK’s leading food trade event.

A forward-thinking group of Cumbrian businesses and supporters are preparing to attend the three-day Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC between 30th March and 1st April 2020.

The ‘This is Cumbria’ collective will once again be taking their branded destination stand, following the success of their first trade event in April 2019.

Initiated by Maria Whitehead of Hawkshead Relish and Lisa Smith of Ginger Bakers in 2018, a group of Cumbrian producers came together to create a ‘big impact’ trade stand that would position the very best of the county’s food, drink and produce in front of the 30,000 key buyers and visitors that the event attracts.

With several new Cumbrian producers on board for 2020 and the continued support pledged by a group of sponsors, the collective aims to build upon last year’s achievements by developing national awareness and championing Cumbrian brands.

The organisers hope to attract attention at the show not only with their unique stand, but through an interactive live stage session to be held on 1st April. The session, ‘Walking in their shoes – what customers really want’ will be led by This is Cumbria partners, Thomas Jardine & Co and The Family Business Network, and will encourage delegates to think like a customer as they sample some delicious Cumbrian produce.  

Keith Jackson of Thomas Jardine & Co said, “We are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the crowds, draw some extra interest to the stand and tell people what This is Cumbria is all about. Last year, there was a really vibrant feel to our stand and the unique look and concept created plenty of interest amongst the visitors.”

The initiative was able to get off the ground with support from a number of committed Cumbrian sponsors including Cartmell Shepherd, Enterprise Answers, Eclectic Creative, Liberty Workware and Printing Plus who between them, pledged their support for the initiative through funding of the unique ‘Showcase Area’, assisting with uniforms, branding, design and printing.

Mark Morrison of brand consultancy, Eclectic Creative said, “It is great to see such passion for their products in this group of Cumbrian brands. We work with many of them, so when they asked us if we would create their collective branding it was easy to say yes. We are delighted to be involved in championing Cumbria and the superb products and services that originate from this amazing county.”

Grahame Latus of Enterprise Answers commented, Over the years, Enterprise Answers has assisted a number of Cumbria’s food & drink producers, helping them to either start, develop or expand their businesses, with many going on to be award winners. Being a sponsor of This is Cumbria was a natural fit for Enterprise Answers which endorses our support and commitment to this growing sector full of creativity, diversity and quality”

The ‘This is Cumbria’ line up of businesses exhibiting within the unique ‘Showcase Area’ in 2020 include Shed 1 Distillery, Molly Rose Drinks, Cakes from the Lakes, Hawkshead Brewery, Pie Mill, Eden Valley Meat Company and Vies Jamaican Rum Cake. Surrounding them on larger stands will be Hawkshead Relish, Ginger Bakers, Farrers Tea & Coffee, Vegware, Kin Vodka, Lakeland Artisan and Penningtons Liqueurs.   

Exhibitor, Maria Whitehead MBE co-owner of Hawkshead Relish commented: “The Farm Shop & Deli Show is a must attend food and drink show in our annual event calendar. It’s a great opportunity to meet up with new and existing customers, and at the same time spend time networking with industry colleagues and other exhibitors. Since its inception it has become a great vehicle for showcasing Cumbria’s food and drink producers to a much wider audience. By exhibiting as part of This is Cumbria, we can maximise these opportunities, shout louder, share information and even develop collaborative relationships, which will see us all benefit.”

Sue Howorth of The Family Business Network, one of the partners of the initiative said, “This is Cumbria offers a wonderful platform for businesses, giving them a voice outside of the county. It’s particularly beneficial for those who may not have exhibited at large trade shows before as the collective brings exhibitors together to provide friendly and professional support for one another, as well as pre-show PR and social media build up and extra coverage during the show”.

The Farm Shop & Deli Show takes place at the NEC from 30th March -1st April 2020.

This is Cumbria have two 2x2m trade stands remaining as well as sponsorship opportunities for businesses wishing to get involved.  

For more information or if you are interested in exhibiting with ‘This is Cumbria’, contact Keith Jackson on [email protected] or visit

More information about the 2020 Farm Shop and Deli Show can be found at

Below: Food writer Nigel Barden with Maria Whitehead and Jonathan Robb of Hawkshead Relish at the Farm Shop & Deli Show 2019

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Below: Claire of Molly Rose Drinks exhibiting within the Showcase Area of This is Cumbria at the Farm Shop & Deli Show 2019

…and Enterprise Answers is a proud sponsor

BUSINESS experts from across the North West of England are coming together to be part of the judging panel for the first North West Family Business Awards, as the clock counts down to the deadline for entries on Thursday, 16 January 2020.

Jacqui Jackson, Chair of the Judges

The panel will meet at Lancaster University on Thursday 23 January to begin the difficult process of selecting the finalists for the prestigious awards.

The new awards dedicated to family businesses from across the North West have grown from the successful Cumbria Family Business Award launched in 2017.

Judges from Cumbria include; Karen Stalker, Managing Director of Stalkers Transport Services Ltd, Simon Glencross, Director of NXT Recruitment, Grahame Latus, Chief Executive of Enterprise Answers, Emma Porter, Managing Director of Story Contracting Limited, Graham Lamont, Chief Executive of accountancy, tax and business advice Lamont Pridmore and Peter Stafford, Managing Director of family law firm Cartmell Shepherd.

Investment: Grahame Latus of Enterprise Answers
Grahame Latus of Enterprise Answers

Chair of the Judges, Jacqui Jackson of Thomas Jardine and Co. said: “‘What a privilege it is to chair the panel of auspicious judges for the inaugural North West Family Business Awards.

“We have two powerful things working in our favour, firstly a plethora of ‘awesomely brilliant’ family businesses in the North West and secondly, a group of skilled judges with distinct lenses and perspectives from which to identify the ‘magic’ combination of family values and business excellence that will represent the very best of our region.”

Cumbrian judge, Peter Stafford of Cartmell Shepherd said: “I believe that Family Business is the lifeblood of our economy, so I will be looking for the story behind the business, what their aims are to be sustainable and future proof their family business as well as the culture of the family business underpinned by the current leadership.”

Joining the Cumbrian judges will be Paul Andrews of Family Business United, Matt Hutchinson Lancaster University’s Family Business Excellence Programme Manager, Sheena McDermott North West Programme Manager for Be the Business, Lucy Powers Director of Chester based Bamboo by HM, Jane Montague Client Services Director for Majestic Publications, Christian Mancier Partner and Commercial Law Specialist at Gorvins Solicitors and Dawn Duggan, Business Growth Hub Leader.

Sue Howorth and Dave Clarkson of The Family Business Network

Co-Director of The Family Business Network, Dave Clarkson said: “Celebrating the successes of family businesses is important to us, to help raise the profile of the sector and champion those individuals involved.

“We were able to do this through the creation and running of the Cumbria Family Business Awards which have taken place annually since 2017. Many of the businesses who took part in the awards have told us how beneficial the process has been to their brand awareness, and business growth through their achievements being recognised.

“Now in 2020, we see these awards evolve into our inaugural North West Family Business Awards, which aim to provide an opportunity for North West family firms to share and celebrate their successes.”

Founder and Co-Director of The Family Business Network, Sue Howorth said: “We are delighted to provide the opportunity for family firms from Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, as well as Cumbria to share and celebrate their achievements through the awards – and expand our judging panel to reflect and represent the whole of the North West.

“We have such a great wealth of experience and business knowledge on the judging panel – many of whom are part of or work closely with family businesses in the area.

“It will be a difficult job to select the finalists, and we are grateful to all the judges for accepting the invitation, and volunteering to be part of the awards.

“Businesses can either be nominated or can enter themselves, however, you’ll have to act quickly as the closing date of 16 January 2020 is fast approaching. For companies looking to support and associate with the sector or simply be a part of the event, we offer a range of opportunities through partnership and sponsorship of the awards.”

Taking place on Friday 6 March, the awards will take off in true first-class style, under the wings of Concorde at The Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park. Entries are open to businesses located in Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire or Cumbria that have at least two family members working within them.

Supporting the farming community has always been an integral part of Enterprise Answers business model and the creation of the Young Farmer loan scheme to run alongside the business support programme, “Farming ambition – Business Support for Young People” is testament to their commitment.

“When we heard The Princes Trust were withdrawing their existing loan facility, which was in place until the summer of 2019 to run alongside the Farming Ambition program, we felt the urge to respond with a replacement scheme” said Enterprise Answers Chief Executive, Grahame Latus.

“We recognise that many agricultural businesses are family businesses and the next generation will  require support and assistance to continue running”.

Through engaging with Kate Gascoyne of The Farmer Network based at Newton Rigg College in  Penrith, Enterprise Answers were able to set up a collaboration that would  drive the initiative forwards and ensure the support scheme to young farmers could remain in place with capital for the loan fund provided by Carlisle based H&H Group.

H&H Group Chief Executive, Richard Rankin said, “What we are looking to do is to connect with the next generation and entrepreneurship and to encourage young farmers to remain in farming, look at the wider picture, identify opportunities and diversify if necessary”.

Kate Gascoyne of The Farmer Network commented, “We are excited to be working with Enterprise Answers and H&H Group. It’s always extremely rewarding to see a young person with an initial idea seeking this support and seeing their plans come to fruition”.

Applying for the fund has been kept as simple as possible. The applicant should be from a rural or agricultural background and the project or enterprise they are planning should be farming-related and benefit or service the rural community.

“These are challenging times for farming and rural communities” concluded Grahame. “If we can do our bit to support and assist in rural areas, especially with the young or next generation, enabling them to realise their creativity and unleash their potential, it will go some way to enhancing the economic viability of our countryside”.

For more information, including case studies of previous applicants, please visit the Farmer Network website

For further details of the range of loan finance available from Enterprise Answers, please visit their website

Details of the range of services provided by H&H Group for agricultural and rural businesses can be found on their website