A trio of women business leaders have been appointed and will help guide the growth of Cumbria’s economy.
Jennifer Cormack, Emma-Lea Dalton and Claire Deekes will join the board of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the organisation tasked with driving growth and investment in the region.
Lord Inglewood, Chair of the Cumbria LEP, said: “A warm welcome to Jennifer, Emma-Lea and Claire, who are perfectly-placed to shape our strategic priorities for Cumbria and support our SMEs.
“This is a critical time for Cumbria’s economy and our business community, so it is really positive to be welcoming new leaders to our board. They’ll help steer the ship through the choppy waters that our businesses of all sizes will be navigating, including rising inflation and the cost of living and energy crises.
“Cumbria excels across many sectors, from tourism and advanced manufacturing, to clean energy generation. Our businesses will be well-placed to seize new opportunities to innovate and expand, and the experienced LEP board will continue to champion sustained investment at every opportunity.”
Together, they’ll bring their wealth of experience across Cumbria’s key sectors to guide the LEP’s policies and programmes.
Jennifer Cormack currently works for Windermere Lake Cruises, the most popular tourist attraction in Cumbria. Jennifer brings to the board a lengthy track record in tourism, attracting visitors from the UK and internationally.
Jennifer Cormack said: “I am very much looking forward to both joining and working with Cumbria LEP’s board at such an important time for the area’s economy.
“The coming months will be very challenging for both the visitor economy and the county’s other key sectors.
“It is important that Cumbria has a united voice and can make a powerful and unified case to central government as we work to build a strong economy and sustainable growth across Cumbria.
“I look forward to ensuring we do the best we possibly can to develop Cumbria’s ever-evolving business economy.”
She’ll be joined by Emma-Lea Dalton. Currently based in Dalton-on-Furness, Emma-lea will support the region’s SMEs, as an entrepreneur and director of three successful small businesses, Brizzolaris Bar, MKO Properties and My Kind of Clean.
Emma-Lea Dalton said: “As a local business leader I feel very excited to join the LEP Board as I feel my insight into starting small businesses in a growing economy will be beneficial to not only the board but to other new entrepreneurs also.
“Start-up businesses naturally experience many challenging times throughout their first few years, with many struggling to survive. I hope by providing insight from experience I will have valuable ideas to help new businesses survive these challenges, thus in turn supporting a growing economy in Cumbria.
“Cumbria’s economic growth is vital for all who live, work and run businesses here, therefore I believe it should be at the forefront of all local businesses owners minds.
“A strategic plan is therefore required to ensure we build a strong economy with sustainable growth, this will help secure jobs and support job creation for years to come. I really do feel honoured to be a part of helping Cumbria thrive.”
Claire Deekes will complete the trio of appointments, bringing over 25 years’ experience across the retail banking and building society sectors, she’s currently Head of Retail Distribution at the Cumberland Building Society.
Clare Deekes said: “I am honoured and delighted to be joining Cumbria LEP. The partnership is focused on supporting the county’s economic prosperity which, particularly in the current climate, is vital to help growth, attract investment, and provide the opportunities the region needs to ensure its people, communities and businesses continue to succeed.”
Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership have recently launched Innovating for Success, a grant that is available to small and medium businesses to both innovate and cut their carbon emissions.