Thinking of starting a business? #BrilliantBarrow project aims to help

A BRAND new project designed to support people as they take the leap to start their own business is to be launched in Barrow this summer.

The sessions will help to demystify the steps needed to become self-employed or to start a business or a community business from scratch.

The sessions will be delivered by Cumbria LEP with dates, venues and joining details set to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The project forms part of #BrilliantBarrow’s Business Support programme - a series of courses designed to ensure both people and businesses in Barrow harness opportunities to thrive and grow, strengthening and diversifying the local economy for years to come.

Jo Lappin, chief executive of Cumbria LEP and a member of the #BrilliantBarrow Board, said: “The Business Support programme is one of the first #BrilliantBarrow projects to go live with support and skills sharing for people who perhaps aren’t sure how to go about turning their fantastic idea into a viable business.

“Very often, the things that hold people back can be overcome with the right help which is what the Business Support programme is here to do.

“We’re really proud that this programme is so close to getting underway and starting to make a difference in Barrow. Details explaining how to get involved will be available soon.”

#BrilliantBarrow secured £25 million of funding from the Government’s Towns Fund for seven ambitious projects. Each one aims to create a bright and transformative future for the town.

The Business Support project aims to help Barrow to become economically resilient and to ensure a strong recovery following the global coronavirus pandemic.

As well as helping individuals to become self-employed or start their own businesses, the project will later provide help for small and medium sized businesses to ensure they are competitive and are able to make the most of the major economic opportunities that exist across the area.

Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council and a member of the #BrilliantBarrow board, said: “These initial sessions are designed to help people take their idea to the next step or even transform their hobby into a business.

“There are lots of talented, hardworking and enterprising people in Barrow. The Business Support project will help them to nurture this entrepreneurial spirit and give them the confidence and skills they need to strike out on their own either now or in the future.”


Barrow was one of the first towns in the country to secure an offer of £25 million in government cash as part of the Town Deal initiative.


A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between Government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision. See the 101 places being supported to develop Town Deals: list-of-100-places.pdf (


A Town Deal Board involving a range of local public and private sector partners has been created to lead the work.



Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19. View a list of accelerated funding by place: towns-fund-accelerated-funding-grants.pdf (