Resources and Useful Links

Resources and Useful Links

We will place useful links and resources on this page.

If you have any suggestions, please contact Lesley Robinson at

HMRC Forum For Start-Ups

An online forum for start ups and small business owners has been launched by HMRC. The Small Business Forum is divided into three categories: starting your business, growing your business and managing your business. Forum users can post questions about filing tax returns, paying tax and using HMRC's digital services. The questions can be answered by HMRC advisers and other forum users.

Start ups reminded of auto-enrolment duties

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued an alert to remind new business owners about their pension duties. All new business start ups from October 2017 will have instant automatic enrolment duties once they take on a member of staff. TPR has launched a new online resource centre with advice, guidance and tools to help start ups comply with their auto-enrolment duties. Charles Counsell, Executive Director of Automatic Enrolment, said: "From October, as soon as you take on staff you will have duties towards them. Anyone setting up a business and taking on staff will need to work automatic enrolment into their plans."

EAFRD Funding Available

A total of £4.3m of EAFRD funding is available to support projects throughout rural Cumbria.

There are currently three funding calls open;
• Food processing – grants to support food processing initiatives, increase innovation, export and business growth.

Download the Food processing Handbook here

• Tourism infrastructure – Improving or developing new visitor attractions aimed at increasing overnight stays and tourist spend.

Download the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Handbook here

• Rural business development – supporting rural business growth including farm diversification, innovation, equipment purchase or premises improvements. 

Download the Business Development Handbook here
Grants are available for up to £250k (minimum £35k) and there is a two stage application process.  

Usually for every £30k of grant, a new job would be expected to be created.  

The information on each of the individual funding calls is attached in the links as well as information on the application process.  
All  grant applications will be received, processed and successful contracts awarded by the Rural Payments Agency (DEFRA).

Further information available from

Note: GH advisers are available to support businesses in producing applications (whether ERDF eligible or not).

"Weathering The Storm" booklet

A new Cumbria focused booklet is available, called ‘Weathering the Storm’. Aimed at businesses, particularly SMEs – it contains things to consider and steps to take, which will help adapt your business to reduce the impact of climate-related events, such as flooding or storm damage. 

Other versions of the booklet are available for different areas nationally, and Cumbria County Council kindly funded the production of a Cumbria version, with input from the LDNPA, NFU and local businesses who provided case studies.

The booklet is available online at: 

Small Business Reputation and the Cyber Risk

Click here to view the Small Business Reputation and the Cyber Risk document

Avoid Under-Insurance

Click here to view the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) guide to avoiding under-insurance for small and medium-sized businesses.

Brexit-Related Under-Insurance

In particular, the guide will support small firms that are vulnerable to the risks of under-insurance as a result of uncertainty following the Brexit vote, such as currency fluctuations and higher prices for imported goods. 

In the guide BIBA recommends that small firms consider the effects of leaving the EU on their business and factor this into the amount of their insurance cover.

For further information please click here

Business Funding Matchmaking Service

Small firms that have been refused finance by nine of the biggest banks will have the opportunity to secure funding from alternative providers with the aid of a new matchmaking service. 

Firms that have had funding applications rejected can authorise banks to pass on their details to the Funding Xchange, Funding Options and Business Finance Compared platforms, which share information with providers that may be willing to provide funding. 

Around 70% of firms that apply for finance only approach one lender and rarely seek other options if rejected. 

In 2015 around 324,000 smaller firms applied for finance, and while 26% of applications were rejected, only 3% were referred to alternative providers.

There is more information about the service here

Further Information

If you think that somebody from outside the United Kingdom might buy through your website, please check out our further information here.