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Archive for March, 2013

Pudding Manufacturer “mixes” it up with new brand!

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Country Puddings, based in Dacre, near Penrith have completed the final stage of the company’s rebrand to compete with other UK manufacturers and take the business to the next level after twelve years of trading.

Country Puddings, run by business woman Lynne Mallinson, is one of theleading pudding manufacturers supplying independent retailers in the UK and abroad. The business was established in November 2000 from Lynne’s farmhouse kitchen, but it expanded very quickly as everyone wanted to sample her delicious puddings. The business has grown from strength to strength and now Country Puddings supplies puddings to retailers all over the world.

The team decided after twelve years of trading, their corporate identity needed a breath of fresh air and have therefore developed a new brand which encompasses all of Country Pudding’s core values. Many food manufacturers give the impression that they create products that are hand-made, using the finest ingredients, but this is often not the case, with products that are mass produced in a big warehouse kitchen. Country Puddings wanted to ensure that their customers know that each of their products is hand made by their small team near Lake Ullswater in the Lake District.”

Lynne tells us,

In addition to managing our pudding company, I am also a farmer’s wife, who loves to help on the family farm and am often seen wearing a boiler suit, pair of wellington boots and driving our quad bike. Our new concept is about how Country Puddings was set up and about rural life; using the highest quality ingredients in our products that are handmade and packed in the Lakes by a small and dedicated team

The new Country Puddings brand keeps the traditional colours that the company is known for, but uses an expanded colour palette to give each of the puddings a new identity and make them really stand out on retailer’s shelves. A new strap line of ‘Country Puddings – Made by the Farmer’s Wife’ has been used to reflect how the company was set up and ensure customers know they are buying a quality product.

The Country Puddings website has also been redeveloped to reflect the changes in the brand and was launched last summer. Since, the website was launched Country Puddings has seen an increase in visitors to the site and in particular people visiting the ‘Farmer’s Wife blog’ with Lynne’s top tips, recipes and news about the world of puddings. With 85% of people in the UK now online and with 1 billion pieces of information shared daily on the World Wide Web, Country Puddings wanted a website that was more personal, appealing and user friendly. Not only does the site link into social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook, but offers consumers the opportunity to leave reviews on the puddings, search for stockists and find out about life in the Pudding Kitchen.

Country Puddings have been online for many years, but have recently embraced social networking with 938 followers on Twitter, 583 ‘likes’ on Facebook…even Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace, who Lynne met at a trade fair show last year is a fan of the puddings and recently said “Country Puddings have taken the traditional British desert in all its forms and absolutely nailed it. There’s everything from summer puddings to jam and syrup sponges. My favourite is the Creamy Rice Pudding”

Country Puddings are going from strength to strength with sales increasing 20% year on year over the past two years, winning numerous Great Taste Awards and have started exporting their now ‘world famous’ puddings to Australia, Dubai, Singapore and Malta. The new corporate identity and website now showcase the Country Puddings brand and strengthen their position as one of the leading pudding manufacturers in the UK.

For more information visit the new Country Puddings website www.countrypuddings.co.uk

£5million helps Cumbrian businesses flourish

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Cumbria’s only Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) has hit a milestone of lending as the business reaches its 8th anniversary. Businesses throughout Cumbria have benefitted from £5million over the past eight years, which they have been able to invest in their organisations and in turn help the local economy.

Enterprise Answers, a not for profit company which was launched on 1st March 2005, has helped over 240 businesses across the rural county. Over 900 jobs have been created or safeguarded in Cumbria as a result of the lending and over 100 start-up businesses have been helped on their way.

Enterprise Answers helps a broad spectrum of businesses from a wide range of industries including engineering, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, retail, hospitality, food & drink and many more. One business who recently received a vital injection of cash was Cumbria Crystal. The business which is based in the south of the county faced hard times like many across the UK. Fearing the worst, Cumbria Crystal approached Enterprise Answers for assistance. Fearing the worst, Cumbria Crystal approached Enterprise Answers for assistance. Cumbria Crystal is the one of a few remaining manufacturers of handmade full lead English crystal and without financial help and business support from Enterprise Answers this industry could have been another manufacturing business to disappear in the UK.

Katy Holford, Managing Director of Cumbria Crystal comments,

The help we received from Enterprise Answers has been key to turning our business around and safeguarding many jobs.  Cumbria Crystal is one of the last remaining Full Lead English Crystal manufacturers in England and without financial help, the incredible skills,  craftsmanship and artistry of our crystal makers would be lost,  never to be reclaimed in the industry. Investment in Cumbria Crystal will ensure that the full lead English crystal can be appreciated and enjoyed for generations to come. We are in the business of creating the heirlooms of the future. ”

Now, with financial help, Cumbria Crystal has been able to purchase two brand new furnaces which are essential for the business to continue. The equipment will double capacity of the factory and will allow Cumbria Crystal to continue to product high spec, bespoke crystal products for customers across the globe; including the Royal Family. Cumbria Crystal receives delivery of the furnaces in April and is once again able to thrive in British manufacturing. Eighteen jobs have been safeguarded and handmade full lead English crystal is still being produced in the UK.

Cumbria has a huge number of small businesses by comparison to many other parts of the UK, driven primarily by fewer large companies and the demographics of the area. However, that works to the advantage of the county in promoting entrepreneurial activity and produces a very rich and diverse range of skills, activities and services all playing a vital role in stimulating the economic viability of the county.

Grahame Latus, Chief Executives comments,

The financial service we offer, coupled with the on-going business support is almost tailor made to meet the needs of the regions businesses. For us, it’s not about lending for the sake of lending, but about creating opportunity for businesses to become better businesses by providing what they need to grow and prosper, which in itself leads to possible further job creation and local economic recovery.”

Enterprise Answers has seen year on year growth with £1.7m of loans approved in the last 12 months alone. Enterprise Answers also recently secured £1.8m from the Regional Growth Fund bringing the total value of funds under management from the organisation to £6.5m.

It is vital that businesses have access to the support and assistance they require from organisations like Enterprise Answers; especially whilst the current economic climate remains unstable. Due to the achievements of Enterprise Answers, coupled with the lack of confidence in high street lending and the economic climate the organisation is now expanding into Lancashire, County Durham and Northumbria to help businesses flourish in other parts of the UK.

Local Social Enterprise wins regional award

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Thriving social enterprise Right2Work, based in Kendal has won the Excellence in Partnership award in the prestigious Excellence in Social Enterprise Awards held on the 22nd February at a glamorous ceremony at the 5 star Hilton Hotel in Blackpool.

The team at Right2Work were awarded this accolade for their partnership work with South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), Cumbria Adult Education, local businesses and recycling organisations such as Cumbria Waste Recycling. Right2Work was set up in August 2011 by parent organisation and charity Oaklea Trust. Oaklea were successful in securing a seven year contract with South Lakeland District Council to operate and manage the collection of bulky household items such as wardrobes, beds, mattresses and chairs from residents in the area.

In the 16 months Right2Work has been operating, they have achieved a 100% collection rate, and have diverted over 101 tonnes of waste from landfill. Their recycling rate for items collected is 66% and is constantly rising. Items that are collected are reused, fixed and resold or broken down and the component parts are recycled.

Following a procurement process, the Oaklea Trust were chosen as the council’s preferred contractor to provide the new service and have collaborated closely with SLDC to set this project up. As the project is community based and community focused they have been able to build partnerships with other organisations including Local Housing Associations, Cumbria Constabulary and Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership.

Jennifer Hone, Business Development Manager at The Oaklea Trust comments,

It is a fantastic achievement to win an award at the Excellence in Social Enterprise Award. The Right2Work project has not only significantly reduced the amount of waste going to landfill, but the money raised from the project has also helped many disabled and disadvantaged people gain employment or work experience in the area. The service provided is a credit to the team who run the project and we hope it can inspire other social enterprises in the North West.”

We are incredibly proud of our Social Enterprise and to be shortlisted for these awards is brilliant recognition of the hard work from our staff, work placement students and volunteers. “

The Excellence in Social Enterprise Awards, which are organised by Social Enterprise North West were established to raise the profile of social enterprise in the North West of England and to encourage mutual support, inter-trading, sharing of best practice, training and development opportunities and to work with local, regional and national bodies to strengthen the social enterprise sector.

Organisers of the awards commented,

Congratulations! The judges believe your work is among the best in the North West.”

The Right2Work project offers people the opportunity to get real work experience in South Lakeland. They exist to support disabled and disadvantaged people to gain employment through training and work experience with the scheme.