Seven of West Cumbria’s brightest businesses are in the running to land £10,000 of free advertising.

Judges in our Business Boost campaign have drawn up a list of finalists that includes a coffee shop, a chimney insulation inventor and a brewery.

The companies will now be invited to pitch for the prize in front of our panel of experts – Sue Eccles, of The Trout Hotel, Pete Woolaghan, of React Engineering, Nick Hodgson, of Cartmell Shepherd, John Berry, of the University of Cumbria, Charlie Birrell, of CN Group, and Clare Fuller, business reporter of the Times & Star.

The eventual winners will secure free advertising in CN Group newspapers and websites, expert mentoring from our judges and help with business planning.

Our finalists are Cherry Tree Fashions, Purple Cherry Coffee Shop, Cockermouth Country Clothing, Chimney Sheep, Wombat Web Design, Sportstrek Coaching and Ennerdale Brewery.

Cherry Tree Fashions, of Wilson Street, Workington, sells, designs and makes hats, fascinators and accessories.

Purple Cherry Coffee Shop, of Finkle Street, Workington, not only sells teas and coffees but also homemade food and cakes.

Cockermouth Country Clothing, of Market Place, sells fashion and practical clothing and shoes, and also offers a hire and repair service.

Chimney Sheep, of Maryport, develops and manufactures chimney draught excluders using locally-sourced wool.

Wombat Web Design, of Lakeland Business Park, Cockermouth, provides multimedia, web design and marketing services.

Sportstrek Clothing, of Briar Bank, Cockermouth, runs coaching sessions for various sports and fitness activities for all ages.

Ennerdale Brewery, of Croasdale Farm, Ennerdale, produces a range of bottled beers from its brewery in the western Lake District.

The finalists will be invited to pitch, Dragons’ Den-style, to our judging panel next month.

The scheme is backed by sponsors Cartmell Shepherd and the University of Cumbria.