Cumbria’s Me, What is this all about?

Over the years Cumbria’s councils, tourism boards and other large institutions have instigated numerous well-intentioned regeneration campaigns. The aim of these campaigns being to stem and reverse the decline of our community and high street shops and businesses. Coupled to these are several lesser known public and large private sector initiatives targeted at increasing the amount of money from public contracts spent with Cumbria’s small to medium enterprises (SME)’s. Unfortunately, most of these campaigns have failed to realise anywhere near the potential that was first envisaged. 

Why does it matter? Well taking retail alone, if every Cumbrian adult swapped just £10 a month of their current spend with multi-national companies to local independent businesses, an additional £43 million/year would go into Cumbrian communities. That equates to as many as 2400 much needed jobs secured and/or potentially created. 

Now consider the enormous potential revenues that could result from Cumbrian businesses securing more of the County’s public purse spend. The value to the County from these sources could, and should, run in to the hundreds of millions per year.

So why do we believe that we can achieve better outcomes than all those organisations and bodies that have gone before. The answer to that is simple, we are those Cumbrian individuals and businesses that these campaigns have failed to engage. As such, living and breathing everything Cumbrian is in our blood and our solidarity and commitment to supporting Cumbria is without question. Therefore, what better group to develop and push those initiatives that will finally see the start of Cumbria’s economic resurgence. 

That’s our commitment, so wouldn’t it be good to see the same commitment from our public bodies and anchor institutions? 

Around the UK some government institutions have taken the initiative to do exactly that. Local spend, with local businesses, in turn helping the local business community thrive and attract in-ward investment from other businesses wanting to play a part in a thriving, positive forwarding looking optimistic community.

Based on LM3 (local Multiplier 3) concepts, this approach, dubbed the Preston Model (by some) or community wealth building, would see anchor institutions constantly challenged to spend as much as possible local to us in Cumbria! Given we are the 3rd largest county in England that gives a really big catchment area containing many large anchor institutions with very big budgets!

Who are the anchor institutions in Cumbria?

  • ·        Local Councils 
  • ·        County Council
  • ·        NHS Trusts
  • ·        Sellafield Ltd
  • ·        Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
  • ·        National Nuclear Laboratory
  • ·        Defence

Protectionism? 

Not at all. To be protectionist you would have to assume that contracts, work or buying was given in favour to Cumbrian companies at a greater cost to the taxpayer. This is not the case, we still have to be a competitive market for every part of the service / product offered such as price, performance and quality. However, creating a look local first culture should be the “Norm” for institutions, creating a local competitive market in the process.

How will this help your business?

The answer to this is twofold. Cumbria’s me in its simplest form is a signpost of your company information to the consumer market. This is specific to tags used for the service or product offered. Someone at home may not know a specific service is offered local to them.

The second part is the fact that tier 1 clients (anchor institutions) and lower tier suppliers are not fully aware of who they can buy from in Cumbria or what different services may be available to them. Lets make it exceptionally easy for them to find our businesses?

Who’s involved in Cumbria’s Me

Cumbria’s me has evolved to include a number of home-grown Cumbrian business leader’s, several of which are involved in many regional and national small to medium enterprise lobbying and steering groups. To compliment these, the executive has been further strengthened by the inclusion of people from 3rd sector and community organisations. 

Cumbria’s me is a community interest company (CIC), Company Number 12667832, a not for profit company working in the best interests of the community of businesses based within Cumbria. 

We have no interest in turning a profit for the self-gain of individuals. Any monies produced via this website will be fully re-invested within the website and its initiatives to continuously improve the outcomes and prospects of Cumbrian businesses and social organisations.