Leading business organisation Britain's Energy Coast Business Cluster has committed to helping its members adjust to the 'new normal'.

The cluster, which has around 320 members across Cumbria, said it wanted to make sure that nobody was left behind as lockdown measures ease.

It has created a five-point plan that it wants to achieve:

  • Maximise intra-regional trading;
  • Maximise opportunities for the young;
  • Increase online trading and engagement;
  • Re-energise charities;
  • Demonstrate loyalty to the workforce.

Ivan Baldwin, chair of the business cluster said: "The business cluster is a community, one where organisations come together to seek mutual benefit through collaboration.

"Pre-Covid-19 this included monthly meetings that averaged 250 people in attendance.

"In these circumstances, we have completely transitioned into a digital platform – something we achieved almost overnight. No matter where our members sit on the

spectrum of lockdown impact, all have continued their active participation, either through finding innovative ways to continue to trade or by providing free of charge

professional and personal support.

"For me, this supports the recognised value of business clustering even in such challenging times."

Set up in 2004, its members include some of the energy industry’s largest anchor organisations such as Sellafield Ltd, alongside its global supply chain, home-grown SMEs, education providers and charities.

In 2018, it established one of the energy industry’s first shadow boards of 18 to 30-year-old leaders to integrate the voice of the next generation in its

activities, and has created collaborations with partner organisations across the UK, Spain and Japan to facilitate a sharing of industrial and business best practice.

Mr Baldwin added: "Our mission is ‘to leave no one behind’.

"The pandemic is hurting the most vulnerable - both those vulnerable in health and those who are the most socio-economically challenged, and in recognition of the fact that business has greater success when operating in prosperous communities, it is unthinkable for anyone to be left behind in the regions plans for recovery.

“Emerging from lockdown in collaboration, leaving no one behind, working cross the cluster and with key partners in local government, means that we has a north star to aim for.

"This is very much rooted in our cherished local communities while creating an open door for new partners.”