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Posts Tagged ‘Enterprise Answers’

Cumbrian couple launch new aerial venture

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

With the help from Enterprise Answers, Penrith couple Darran and Tracy Luck have set up ‘Lakeland Aerials’, a new business specialising in aerial and satellite installation and repair services.

After working for SKY TV for over 8 years, Darran saw a business opportunity to help people across the county with their TV installation requirements.  After doing a lot of research Darran realised there wasn’t a huge amount of competition across Cumbria and had made many contacts that would ensure he was able to start his business on a good footing.

Darran and Tracy live in Penrith with their six children aged 2 to 16, so they are always kept busy and aim to involve their whole family in the business in the future.  Business also runs in the family as Darran’s parents are Directors of Cumbira X Press Ltd, so he is well prepared for everything that running your own business can throw at you.

Darran comments,

“We took a huge leap of faith by setting up Lakeland Aerials; leaving the security of a job that I had done for years and ensuring I could still take care of the family.  Luckily we have lots of support and I have been able to build up a good reputation throughout the county, which has stood me in good stead to ensure this venture works.  If the first three months is anything to go by then we’ve found a niche in the market.”

Initially, Darran and his wife Tracy started looking into raising funds to realise their business aspirations.  They did a basic search online for Government grants or start up schemes and that’s how they discovered Enterprise Answers, Cumbria’s only Community Development Finance Institution.  With the assistance and guidance from the team at Enterprise Answers ‘Lakeland Aerials’ was able to get up and running.

Since starting the business three months ago Darran has been out on the job every day; helping domestic customers and businesses from Kendal to Carlisle with their digital, aerial and satellite queries.   Lakeland Aerials covers all aspects of installation from aerials, satellite systems, TV wall mounting and telephone line extensions, to checking broadband and phone connections and wiring.  For more services you can visit their website –

Voodoo launches with a little potion from Enterprise Answers

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

A new fashion boutique and print & design studio has launched in Cockermouth thanks to the entrepreneurial flair of Charlie Carlin who opened Voodoo in Market Place on Monday.

Charlie brings a fresh and vibrant aspect to fashion with a range of designs aimed at both men and women of all ages and if it’s not on the shelf, he will design it for you. The shop is equipped with the latest technology in design and imagery and Charlie is able to print virtually any design on to most fabrics ranging from t-shirts to jute bags and baseball caps.

Voodoo sees the release of a passion and vision Charlie has held for some time and with the premises becoming vacant he seized the opportunity and with financial backing from Enterprise Answers, he released his potential.

Opening on Monday, Charlie said “We’ve only been open for a few days and the initial response has been a bit overwhelming. It seems like the whole of Cockermouth has already popped in for a look!”

With support from Michelle Moore at Enterprise Answers, Charlie was able to quickly pull his business proposition together and despite the premises needing extensive repairs, he was soon open for business.

Michelle says “Charlie is bringing a new concept to Cockermouth and the local area offering bespoke clothing design and printing, from outfits that can be worn everyday to those with specific purpose such as events and special occasions. It has been great working with Charlie, seeing the progress he has made with the business and now seeing the boutique trading. I look forward to watching the business grow and gain the reputation it rightly deserves.”

Voodoo carries a good range of stock and can custom brand most items at short notice or Charlie can create the designs for you, whether it be for personal or business use.

Voodoo can be found online at and  or by visiting the premises in Cockermouth where a warm greeting awaits from Charlie, with no spells cast!

£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.