BUSINESSES in Cumbria get the best professional services advice thanks to the expertise and experience of those in the sector across the county.
But some business and organisations in Cumbria still think they need to turn to big city firms in the likes of Newcastle, Manchester and London when they need top advice.
Now a new group aims to change that and make sure that businesses in the county are fully aware of the expert level of support which is available to them on their doorstep.
The Professional Services Association (Cumbria) is a collaboration of leading professional services companies throughout the county.
Several companies have already pledged their support for the group.
In order to give everyone in the sector a chance to find out more - and how they can get involved - a special business breakfast has been planned for later this month.
Paul Dickson, chief executive and managing partner of Armstrong Watson, explained how there had been a long-standing need for the association.
Paul said: “At MP John Stevenson’s request, I had the privilege to chair the Professional Services Group at the Nuclear Conference which John hosted just over two years ago.
“It has become clear that we needed to bring together the voices of all Cumbrian Professional Services firms to tell their story and to shout about the expertise we have in Cumbria.
“The purpose of the association is to promote the skills and expertise which are available within professional services businesses in Cumbria so that more businesses and individuals use them - rather than sending their work outside the county to city firms in the likes of Newcastle, Manchester and London.
“Businesses in Cumbria don’t need to go out of the county yet they do. For the long term success of the Professional Services Sector in Cumbria, we should keep that work in Cumbria.
“We have great people with real expertise.
“As Professional Services businesses, it is our job to help Cumbrian businesses be successful and create prosperity.
“The Cumbrian LEP reports that the productivity of the Cumbrian Professional Services sector is lower than the national average. That is not good for Cumbria or Cumbrian businesses.
“We need to tell the story that we do have a successful, vibrant, high quality Professional Services sector in Cumbria. With the skill sets that Cumbrian businesses need and should use.
“By doing that we will as a sector attract the talent back to Cumbria. We will show businesses that we have the talent to help them prosper.”
Jonathan Lee, former managing director of CN Group, now a director of 32West PR and media agency, is heading up this exciting new initiative.
Paul said: “Jonathan has not only cross-sector expertise but most importantly county knowledge, so is perfectly placed to lead the Professional Services Association for Cumbria. This will benefit us all.
“Jonathan helped create the county’s leading business platform, in-Cumbria, and also masterminded the launch of Choose Cumbria created to help shout proudly that our county is the perfect place to live, work and play. The same is needed for our Professional Services.
“Jonathan and the PSA have my full support, Armstrong Watson’s full support and John Stevenson’s support.”
Jonathan said: “These are exciting times. Helping businesses and organisations tell their story, and bringing more success and prosperity to them and the communities they serve, has always been a motivation for me.
“To be able to achieve this, working with a range of amazing professional services companies and individuals across Cumbria, is a fantastic opportunity.
“I am really looking forward to helping all those involved and making sure the Professional Services Association (Cumbria) delivers success for all its members, the businesses, organisations and individuals they support, and the wider Cumbrian economy.”
The Professional Services Association (Cumbria) business breakfast is aimed at giving people a chance to find out more about the association is being planned at the Halston in Carlisle on Thursday, July 25.
Any representatives from professional services companies who wish to attend this free event, 7.45am for an 8am start, are asked to register in advance on Eventbrite, search Professional Services Association or go direct to this link https://tinyurl.com/y5g9hfm5