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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Meet our Local Business Accelerators winners

Three winners from West Cumbria have been chosen in the Local Business Accelerators scheme, supported by the Times & Star.

Judges deliberated over the six finalists in a competition which saw some of the area’s most promising fledgling firms battle it out.

Funtastic, of Workington, The Coffee Kitchen, of Cockermouth, and MamaBabyBliss Cumbria, of Eaglesfield, were chosen as the winning businesses by the panel of judges.

They beat off competition from some the area’s brightest young firms to win £10,000-worth of free advertising in the Times & Star and its sister titles the Whitehaven News and News & Star.

The runners up were Abi Beauty Therapy, of St Bees, Wild Zucchinis, of Brigham, and BoothPix, of Grey-southen.

Gary Dixon, of Funtastic, said: “It is great news we have won and it will mean more awareness of our business and more confidence to develop it.”

Andy Walsh, of The Coffee Kitchen, added: “This will offer us more knowledge and advice on how to grow into a multi-brand right across Cumbria.”

Victoria Jones, of MamaBabyBliss Cumbria, said: “Winning the competition and having the advice of the mentors will help in my goal to become the lead provider of baby courses and products for Cumbrian families.”

The companies had to present their business plans as part of the competition in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch to judges Andy Hooper, of Westlakes Engineering, Bill Dobie, of Dobies Group, John Berry, of the University of Cumbria, Richard Askew of Armstrong Watson, Charlie Birrell, of CN Group and Times & Star business reporter Clare Kinrade.

The winners will now get a tailored advertising package with CN Group and advice from business mentors Mr Hooper and Mr Dobie.

The accelerators scheme is sponsored by the University of Cumbria and Armstrong Watson.

l Read more about the entrants in the Local Business Accelerators Scheme in our Success Stories supplement, free with today’s paper

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