New private gym set to open in Penrith

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Proper Performance, state of the art private gym opening in Hackthorpe, Penrith

A brand-new private gym is set to open near Penrith. Located in the village of Hackthorpe, Penrith, this state-of-the-art facility will officially open its doors on Monday, 24th of June 2024.

This new private gym is founded and run by partners Callum Keen and Beth Walker who have also relocated to Cumbria recently from York. They chose Cumbria as they have always loved their visits here and feel very at home.

Proper Performance will deliver a weekly schedule of small group classes ranging from Fell Strong for runners/hikers, to Longevity training for those looking to increase strength and endurance throughout life, along with Calisthenics for those looking to defy gravity.

In addition to group sessions, Proper Performance will offer personalised private training sessions by Coach Callum Keen. Coach Keen, a former World Record Holder and MSc qualified specialist, brings over a decade of experience in human performance to the gym.

Proper Performance Co-Partner Coach Callum Keen

“We’re not just a gym; we’re a community,” says Beth Walker, one of the business partners behind Proper Performance. “Our mission is to piece together our interests, abilities, and passions into an all-encompassing service for those who want to invest in their performance and longevity.”

The gym’s design reflects our core values of honesty, enthusiasm, and compassion. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a fitness beginner, Proper Performance welcomes you to join our supportive and empowering environment.

For more information or to book a class, visit their website at or stop by their Hackthorpe location starting 24th June 2024 or following them on Instagram: @proper__performance

Coach Callum Keen doing a bespoke training session
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Cumbrian Renowned Dog Day Care Service Celebrating a Legacy of Excellence with Prestigious Pet Care Awards

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Katy Smith and Craig Smith owners of Theas Lakeland Walks with their dog Thea who they have named the business after

Thea’s Lakeland Walks, a renowned dog day care service based in High Hesket Business Park, Carlisle, has once again demonstrated its excellence in pet care by securing several prestigious accolades. The company, known for its commitment to providing top-notch services, has been recognised as a leader in the industry, earning the title of ‘Business of the Year Finalist’ in both 2019 and 2023. Their dedication to quality care has also earned them the ‘Pet Care Specialists of the Year’ award for four consecutive years, from 2020 to 2023.

In 2021, Thea’s Lakeland Walks was a finalist for the ‘PIF Pet Services Business of the Year,’ showcasing their continued commitment to excellence. The year 2023 marked a significant milestone for the company as they were honoured with the ‘Global Recognition Award,’ a testament to their outstanding services on an international scale. Furthermore, the company’s innovative approach and dedication to the community were recognized by Theo Paphitis, a renowned business magnate, as they won the ‘Small Business Sunday Winner 2023.’

Thea’s Lakeland Walks has also made a conscious effort to operate in an environmentally friendly manner, aligning with the growing demand for sustainable business practices. Their team’s expertise is backed by qualifications in canine behaviour and certifications in pet sitting and dog walking, ensuring that every pet receives the best possible care.

“As the proud owner of Thea’s Lakeland Walks, I am deeply humbled by the recognition we’ve received. These awards are not just accolades to display; they reflect our unwavering commitment to excellence in pet care. Each honour we’ve earned, from being finalists for ‘Business of the Year’ to receiving the ‘Global Recognition Award’, fuels our passion to serve our community and the pets we adore. Our success is measured not in trophies, but in the wagging tails and happy barks of the dogs we have the privilege to care for. We pledge to continue setting the benchmark for sustainable, compassionate, and exceptional pet care services. Here’s to the journey ahead, filled with more milestones and cherished moments with our furry clients.” – Catherine Smith, owner of Thea’s Lakeland Walks.

As featured in North West Wedding Magazine and Abode2, Thea’s Lakeland Walks continues to set the standard for pet care services, not only in Cumbria but across the region.

With a comprehensive range of services and a customer-centric approach, they remain at the forefront of the industry, celebrating their achievements and looking forward to future successes.

You can find out more by heading

Katy Smith and Craig Smith owners of Theas Lakeland Walks winning CorporateLiveWire North England Prestige Awards
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Cumbrian pet store celebrates double anniversary

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Karen Creighton owner of Arcade Pet Store in Devonshire Arcade in Penrith

Arcade Pet Store, a cherished fixture in Penrith’s Devonshire Arcade, is celebrating a dual milestone: it’s around the 70th anniversary as a beloved pet supply destination and its 9th year under the stewardship of Karen Creighton. This store has not only been a go-to source for a comprehensive range of pet supplies and expert advice for seven decades but has also flourished in the past nine years, fostering a warm community for pet enthusiasts.

Karen Creighton, the current owner whose passion for animals and background in Zoology propelled her into the pet retail industry, shares her reflections: “It was nine years ago that I embraced my love for animals and ventured into the pet retail business. This journey has been filled with delightful encounters, from wagging tails to contented purrs, and the satisfaction of meeting our customers’ needs. Celebrating this anniversary brings back the reasons I started this venture, and I look forward to many more years of contributing to the pet community.”

The Arcade Pet Store has evolved from its modest inception to a cornerstone in the Devonshire Arcade, serving not just the pets of Penrith but also creating a welcoming space for pet lovers to connect. The store’s dedication to animal welfare shines through in every carefully selected product and the insightful guidance provided by Karen and her team.

As the Arcade Pet Store embarks on its tenth year with Karen at the helm, it continues to uphold its commitment to enriching the lives of pets and their owners in Penrith and the surrounding areas.

Visit them at 16 Devonshire Arcade, Penrith, United Kingdom to join in the celebration, and don’t forget to follow their journey on their Facebook page

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Local Cumbrian Sandwich Business Named “Best Locally-Sourced Packaged Sandwich Company 2024”

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Mel Walmsley Owner of Lakes Sandwiches at The Sammies 2024 with their Sandwich Entry

Lakes Sandwiches, based in Kendal has once again proven its dedication to the community by being recognised as the Best Locally-Sourced Packaged Sandwich Company 2024 in the upcoming Business Elite Awards with SME News. This prestigious honour emphasises their relentless commitment to producing high quality products and cements their role as a pillar of local enterprise.

But the accolades don’t stop there. Lakes Sandwiches were also named a finalist for the People’s Choice Award – Community Champions category at the North West Family Business Awards. This nomination highlights their exceptional contributions to the community and their commitment to making a positive impact.

In addition to these recent achievements, Lakes Sandwiches reached the semi-finals of the prestigious British Sandwich Association’s “Sammies” awards earlier this year. Their custom sandwich designs, a testament to their creative spirit, have garnered industry-wide acclaim and positioned them as leaders in the culinary art of sandwich making.

Founded on the principles of freshness and local sourcing, Lakes Sandwiches has been handcrafting high-quality food-to-go products since its inception in 2014. Their range, initially created as a high-quality alternative to mass-manufactured options, has always prioritised taste and affordability without compromising on quality.

In 2017, Lakes Sandwiches took a significant step forward by rebranding their packaging and partnering with other local food producers. This move not only enhanced the quality of their ingredients, from cheeses to chutneys, but also strengthened the local food ecosystem.

“Our mission is to offer convenience food that is both fresh and tasty. We believe you don’t have to compromise on quality for meals on the go. Being recognised in all these awards is a true honour and a reflection of our team’s passion and hard work.” said Mel Walmsley, co-founder and visionary behind Lakes Sandwiches.

Lakes Sandwiches’ commitment to the community extends beyond their products. They create job opportunities for local residents, support various local charities, and actively promote local sourcing and great food within the community.

As part of their growing success and expansion, Lakes Sandwiches now offers a bespoke range tailored for Meetings, Office Lunches, Parties, and Events. Their diverse menu includes; Sandwich Platter Boxes, Picnic Lunch Bags, Afternoon Tea Boxes and Cake & Tray Bake Selections. These offerings can be explored on their website and easily ordered via their online shop.

As Lakes Sandwiches continues to grow and innovate, they invite everyone to join them in celebrating these remarkable achievements. With their eyes set on the future, they promise to keep delivering outstanding food that not only satisfies the palate but also contributes positively to the community they so proudly serve.

For more information about Lakes Sandwiches and their award-nominated offerings, please visit their website or call them on 01539 723303.

Award winning Lakes Sandwiches Owners Mel and Scott Walmsley
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Cumbrian Baby and Children’s Wear shop wins national Kite Shop of the Month Award

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Twinkletoes of Penrith Award Winning Shop Window Display

Twinkletoes of Penrith, nestled in the historic Devonshire Arcade, has been honoured with the prestigious national Kite April Shop of the Month Award. This Penrith-based Cumbrian Baby and Children’s Wear shop has earned acclaim for its lively and imaginative Summer Window display, which has charmed both the local community and visitors.

The award-winning showcase featured a vibrant collection of Kite clothing, set amidst a sea of bright flowers and cheerful sunflowers, embodying the warmth and happiness that Twinkletoes imparts to its clientele. The display is a testament to the shop’s dedication to offering top-notch baby and children’s apparel infused with the unique spirit of Cumbria.

Owners Andrew and Liane Dixon, a Penrith couple who have been at the helm since November 2011, expressed their joy over the accolade: “We’re over the moon to be recognised with this award. It mirrors our commitment to sourcing distinctive, high-quality garments for our community. Our Summer Window was crafted with love, and it’s heartwarming to see the pleasure it brings to our patrons.”

Twinkletoes began as a small venture but quickly expanded, moving to a larger location within the arcade in November 2012. The shop underwent a refresh in May 20—, adding a wooden floor to enhance its welcoming atmosphere.

The mission of Twinkletoes is to offer a personal, dependable service, featuring exclusive brands like Kite, Piccalilly, Lilly & Sid, Toby Tiger, Emile Et Rose, Rapife, Kaloo, Dandelion, and more. These brands stand out for their organic, UK-designed offerings, presenting a sustainable fashion choice. The Emile Et Rose range, known for its classic designer babywear, and the Kaloo range, with its soft toys and keepsakes, are particularly noteworthy.

Located near the Lake District and within a farming community, Twinkletoes’ farm-themed collections are especially popular. Running the business has had its challenges, from Covid to road closures, but the Dixons have persevered, adapting and growing their business, with their window displays winning multiple competitions.

The shop has also hosted fundraising events for local causes such as the air ambulance, Penrith birthing centre, and Beaconside School, reflecting the couple’s gratitude to the institutions that have supported their family.

Twinkletoes has welcomed notable customers, including Helen Skelton, Chris Gascoyne of Coronation Street fame, and Mel Giedroyc. The Dixons extend their heartfelt thanks to their family, friends, and customers for their unwavering support and look forward to welcoming both returning and new patrons for many years to come. For more information head to their website or give their Facebook page which is regularly update and do give their shop a visit at Units 1-2, Devonshire Arcade, Penrith, Cumbria, United Kingdom CA11 7SX

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Business specialised in supporting neurodiverse and small business owners moves to Cumbria

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Able Admin, a company renowned for providing exceptional virtual assistant support to neurodiverse and small business owners, is excited to announce the relocation of its headquarters to Carlisle, Cumbria. This move marks a significant milestone in the company’s three-year journey, which has been spearheaded by its founder and owner Ashleigh Veitch.

Ashleigh, who has been championing the cause of neurodiversity for over a decade, has built Able Admin on the foundation of inclusivity and support. The company has been instrumental in assisting business owners with conditions such as autism and ADHD, both through the Access to Work scheme and private arrangements.

Able Admin’s team boasts a diverse range of specialisms, including bookkeeping, social media management, and graphic design. This multi-faceted approach allows the company to provide comprehensive support to its clients, enabling them to focus on their passions while Able Admin handles the administrative tasks.

Sarah, the Bookkeeping Manager, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to clients with her expertise in numbers. On the other hand, Cara, the Social Media Manager, excels in creating engaging content, managing reels, newsletters, blogs, and audience engagement. Together, they form a formidable team under the leadership of Ashleigh, whose skills lie in business management, strategies, and project coordination.

Able Admin founder and owner Ashleigh Veitch

Ashleigh expressed her enthusiasm about the move, stating, “We are thrilled to be setting up our headquarters in Cumbria. This move represents our commitment to growth and our dedication to providing top-class service to our clients. We look forward to continuing our work in this new location.”

In celebration of the move, Ashleigh is extending an open invitation for interested parties to meet over coffee and discuss how Able Admin can support their business needs. To arrange a meeting, please email or for more information, visit the Able Admin website 

One of the many competitive packages and offerings by Able Admin
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You’re Invited to the Meerkat Networking Evening! 

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Invite below from Meerkat Networking Founder Melanie Kinsella

Join us on Wednesday 26 June 2024, for an unforgettable networking experience at the stunning Eden Golf Club, nestled in the picturesque Crosby-on-Eden, Carlisle CA6 4RA. From 17:30 to 19:00, immerse yourself in an evening of connections, collaboration, and camaraderie.

Tickets for this exclusive event are priced at £12.50, with 20% of the ticket price going directly to charity – making networking even more impactful! Reserve your spot now and contribute to a worthy cause while expanding your professional network.

The Meerkat Networking Evening is not just about making connections; it’s about showcasing the vibrant community of the Meerkat network and its members. Whether you’re an established professional or an aspiring entrepreneur, this event offers a platform to forge meaningful relationships, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations.

But that’s not all – networking isn’t just about exchanging business cards; it’s about unlocking a world of opportunities.

By attending, you’ll have the chance to:

Expand your professional circle and connect with like-minded individuals.
Gain valuable insights and perspectives from diverse industry experts.
Discover new business opportunities and potential partnerships.
Elevate your personal brand and visibility within the business community.

As you mingle and network, enjoy light refreshments and take advantage of the on-site bar where you can purchase your favourite drinks.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to connect, collaborate, and celebrate the power of networking! Secure your ticket today and get ready for an evening of inspiration and possibility.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Meerkat Networking Evening – where connections lead to success!

BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW Meerkat Networking Event 2024 (

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Showcase Cumbria and Ballard PR Agency signed up as Business Partners of a local charity

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Showcase Cumbria Founder with Kylie Palmer Corporate Fundraiser at Hospice At Home Carlisle and North Lakeland

Message from Showcase Cumbria founder Mary Ballard:

EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE that I have signed up Showcase Cumbria as Business Partners of Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland when I visited them at Barras Lane in Carlisle.

DID YOU KNOW? That as a business partners you can give support in various ways:

Specialised advice and shared expertise

Provision of raffle and auction prizes

Financial support

Sponsorship of events

Provision of meeting rooms

Staff volunteering time

I was given a tour by the lovely 🌻🌻 Kylie Palmer 🌻🌻, their Corporate Fundraiser there and got to meet the hard-working team and volunteers. I was blown away by all they do; I confess, I wasn’t aware of all that they did. You will see pictured below various rooms- top right room; is multifaceted room that has been used for yoga to group counselling. Also as a business partner, you can book it to host a networking meeting as long as you also give them to share about what they do there at Hospice At Home Carlisle and North Lakeland. They also treat Lymphoedema; chronic swelling as a side effect of chemotherapy; their qualified nurses can help ease this with treatments, they also have complementary therapy rooms and they have massage, reiki, aromatherapists, reflexologist volunteers who kind give their time (so if you want to volunteer; please do get in contact with them). You will see an empty office, this is because the nurses are all at patients homes giving respite. Ashley Macaulay, their Director of Clinical Lead tells me they have around 40 clinicians plus volunteers which is fantastic but also as you can appreciate the importance then of their work and need to fundraise and raise awareness. The last room; is a room where those doing group counselling / work can go to if they feel overwhelmed and it was also where Kylie had done a podcast. From there you can see the beautiful garden where those from Carlisle College had kindly donated their time to work on it.

If you would also like a tour and find out more on how you can help; either DM 🌻🌻 Kylie Palmer 🌻🌻or email or you can head to their website

I am looking forward to sharing more about this amazing charity but in the meantime, I will pop in the links to how to sign up to be a business partner like me, plus other events and fundraisers that you can get your business to get involved in.

Our Business Partners – Hospice at Home

Blues Lotto – Hospice at Home

Summit at Sunset – Hospice at Home

Events from 22 November – 23rd March 2025 – Hospice at Home

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Mary Ballard of Showcase Cumbria Honoured with Five Nominations at the 2024 Enterprise Vision Awards

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Showcase Cumbria Ltd is thrilled to announce that its very own Mary Ballard has been nominated for an impressive five categories at the prestigious 2024 Enterprise Vision Awards (EVAS). This marks Mary’s first nomination for these esteemed awards, recognising her exceptional contributions to the business community.

Mary has been nominated for the following categories: Best BusinessBusiness WomanCreative IndustryInspirational Woman, and Professional Services. These nominations are a testament to her unwavering commitment and innovative spirit in the business sector.

The nomination highlights Mary’s inspirational journey: “Mary is a truly inspirational woman, who always commits 100% to whatever she’s doing. Over the past five years, through Showcase Cumbria, she has used her networking to bring many businesses together and has helped us secure our group of suppliers. She is constantly thinking of opportunities to help other businesses and promotes them at every opportunity through Showcase Cumbria. Mary is a true, breath of fresh air, a real positive and genuine person who is willing to support and help others.”

In addition to her remarkable achievements, Mary Ballard is the proud owner of Ballard PR Agency, serving a diverse portfolio of clients within Cumbria. Her association with CBASS COMPLETE BUSINESS ADVISORY SOLUTIONS further exemplifies her dedication to local enterprise. Currently collaborating with CLEP and Cumbrian councils, CBASS is at the forefront of providing business support, aligning perfectly with Mary’s and Showcase Cumbria’s philosophy of bolstering Cumbrian businesses and delivering comprehensive services.

The EVAS, now celebrating its 13th anniversary, stands as the premier female business awards in the UK, shining a spotlight on the achievements and innovations of women in business.

For more details about the awards, please visit our website at Join us in celebrating Mary’s remarkable achievements by connecting with us on social media and using the hashtag #EVAS2024.

Showcase Cumbria Founder Mary Ballard with Showcase Cumbria mascot Bruno on top of Latrigg in Cumbria.

About Showcase Cumbria Ltd Showcase Cumbria Ltd is a dynamic community news and media platform dedicated to fostering growth and collaboration within the business community and the county of Cumbria. Through strategic networking and support services, Showcase Cumbria has become a cornerstone for business development and community news in the region. Started in 2017 initially via Twitter (now X) and is now across 4 social media channels; X, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Founder Mary Ballard said on why she started it “I wanted showcase all that is great about Cumbria; it is such a great place to live, work and visit. I also wanted to provide a much opportunities of all sizes of businesses and charities, event organisers and residents to shout about what they are doing. I also wanted people to know that Cumbria has so many parts to it from beaches to monuments to forests to a independent produce/products and shops. I want to shine the light on all aspects of Cumbria.”

Showcase Cumbria’s founder Mary Ballard provides opportunities for sponsorship, advertising, job postings, event promotions, and features write-ups and video interviews through the website which was set up this February. Charities and press releases are featured free of charge.

Bookmark / Favourite the website

Give the socials a follow:

Facebook: www,facebook/showcasecumbria

Instagram: Showcase Cumbria (@showcasecumbria) • Instagram photos and videos

X (Twitter):


Showcase Cumbria Founder Mary Ballard in Whitehaven in Cumbria.
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Cultivating Sustainability and Tradition from Umbria to Cumbria

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Umbria Green Heart supplying local Cumbrian Businesses such as Lovingly Artisan Bakery

In the verdant valleys of Cumbria, a revolution is quietly taking root. Umbria Green Heart, a local foodie gem, is leading the charge in bringing the taste of tradition of the Italian region of Umbria to Cumbrian markets and beyond.

Founded on the principles of environmentally friendly stewardship and a passion for wholesome produce, Umbria Green Heart has become synonymous with quality and sustainability. Their commitment to gastronomic excellence beyond the Italian borders ensures that every product reaches Cumbrian tables is of the highest standard.

Umbria Green Heart Market Stand at one of the Cumbrian Markets they take part in

From the bustling local Cumbrian markets where their produce becomes the highlight of the day to the ease of online shopping, Umbria Green Heart has made it simple for everyone to access their range of products: artisanal charcuterie and pasta, fine wine, truffle products and high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Whether you’re looking for finest ingredients to grace your dinner table or the perfect ingredient for your culinary creations, Umbria Green Heart has you covered.

Their user-friendly website with deliveries all over the UK, offers a seamless shopping experience, while their social media presence on Facebook keeps you updated on their latest market appearances. With just a few clicks, you can bring the essence of the ‘Green Heart of Italy’ into your home, no matter where you are.

As Umbria Green Heart continues to grow, so does their impact on the community and the environment with sustainability at the heart of what they do and offer.

Taste the difference tradition makes.

Visit Umbria Green Heart at your local Cumbrian market or shop online today. The finest products of Umbria are just a click away. Umbria Green Heart | Finest products from the Green Heart of Italy

Umbria Green Heart Founders Davide Guerrieri and Marco Rapaccini
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