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Monthly Archives: February 2018

Hawkshead Relish show support for family business in Cumbria

Hawkshead Relish are one of Cumbria’s most recognisable (and delicious) brands. Their jars and bottles line the shelves of our cupboards and fridges and they are truly a family business Cumbria can be proud of. We were delighted when Maria agreed to be a judge for the Cumbria Family Business Awards and her insight and experience in running a family business was invaluable.

Hawkshead Relish have been making their handmade award winning Relishes, Pickles and Preserves for the past 19 years, initially to supply their café in Hawkshead with a few extra jars to sell to their customers.  It was the disaster of Foot & Mouth that became the turning point, without any customers and on the very brink of financial ruin, they were forced to diversify quickly and build the “Relish” brand from scratch.

Today, they make around 3,000 jars a day all still by hand, using traditional techniques and recipes that Mark creates often using local ingredients wherever possible.  With a small workforce of around 25 people, they send products as far away as Japan, Australia and the USA as well as to over 500 stockists throughout the UK.

Mark and Maria were jointly awarded MBE’s in 2011 in recognition of their contribution to the food industry in Cumbria.  Since then they have gone on to help and provide advice for many small businesses starting up and especially in helping them to start their export journey. Hawkshead Relish have shown their support for other family businesses in Cumbria by backing the Retail and Wholesale category, an area they know very well indeed.

Mark Whitehead MBE MD, said

“The family is very much at the heart of our business. Not only with our daughters and Maria’s brother in the business, but with the rest of the team. We know everyone and their families, it’s a whole community”

As with many family businesses putting something back into the community is at the heart of their family values. It’s this commitment to the community that sets family businesses apart. Hawkshead Relish support many local charities and events throughout the year, with a special place for Sunbeams Music Therapy in Penrith who provide the most amazing therapeutic music sessions for disabled children and adults. Hawkshead Relish created a bespoke Private Label Marmalade for them to sell and help raise funds.  The couple recently attended the opening of the new Sunbeams Music Centre at Redhill’s in Penrith with HRH The Countess of Wessex – to find out more please go to


New findings highlight Cumbrian family business challenges

The findings of Armstrong Watson’s family business survey are out and make for very interesting reading. The firm had a record response to their Family Business Survey 2017 and they have summarised some key findings especially for local family businesses for us. They’ve worked with family businesses for over 150 years so are well placed to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly side of family business life. Armstrong Watson have been a phenomenal support for us here at Cumbria Family Business Awards and one thing we all know is how much family businesses contribute to the very fabric of Cumbria, from corner shops to FTSE companies. Keep up the good work. You’ve got this, and you are not alone.

Top 10 Key Stats

1.       Average Number of Owners within a Cumbrian Family Business is 2
2.       Only 1 in 7 Cumbrian Family Business owners are under 45
3.       54% of Cumbrian Family Businesses are second generation or older
4.       Average Number of Employees – 25 (up 4% from 2016)
5.       Only 13% of employers use salary sacrifice schemes
6.       79% find it difficult recruiting and retaining new talent
7.       1 in 5 businesses don’t plan to grow or adapt
8.       Whilst 91% feel under pressure to adapt and innovate
9.       4 of every 9 will keep the business in the family
10.    Yet over a third of Cumbrian business owners haven’t discussed their intentions to pass the business to the next generation.

Do the discoveries reflect your family business? Or are you experiencing something different altogether? If you’d like to discuss any of the issues highlighted or you want to know more about how Family Business experts can advise, support and protect your business and family finances you can get in touch with Armstrong Watson below.

T: 0808 144 5575


Register to download a copy of the full Family Business Insight Report at (available end of March).

Bells of Lazonby support Food and Drink Producers in Cumbria

Founded in 1946 Bells of Lazonby started life as a small bakers in the rural and very beautiful Lazonby. Established by John Bell a gutsy man who survived his aircraft being shot down over Germany in WW2, Bells of Lazonby is now in the hands of the second generation.

Recognised for its innovative approach to baking Bells is now a household name and regular on supermarket shelves.

Nowadays Bells is divided into three unique brands, Bells of Lazonby, We Love Cake and The Village Bakery Melmerby. Each brand is well established and equally well known for producing delicious baked goods for customers and stockists alike.


The family run business won Outstanding Cumbria Family Business of the Year 2017 #CFBA2017 at the very first Cumbria Family Business Awards and this year are supporting other family business food producers. Supporting Cumbria comes naturally to Bells of Lazonby. Just last week Bells of Lazonby donated over 600 gluten, wheat and milk cakes and 200 freshly baked stotties to the Cumbria Community Foundation Big Sleep event in aid of their Winter Warmth appeal. The event saw over 120 people camping outside the Low Wood Bay Hotel in sub-zero temperatures to fundraise for the elderly people of Cumbria who face challenges in affording their winter fuel bills. Michael Bell, MD and second generation family business owner of Bells of Lazonby says

“We are humbled by the Big Sleep event and greatly admire the work the Cumbria Community Foundation do – we love our place, Cumbria and try to do everything we can to support it. It’s an honour to donate our cakes and breads to such a worthy cause”

Andy Beeforth, CEO at the Cumbria Community Foundation said:

“We can’t thank Bells of Lazonby enough for supporting the event. We know our sleepers like to eat something sweet throughout the day to keep their minds from the cold, and they look forward to a good breakfast, so this provision has been vital and enabled us to raise even more money for the Winter Warmth Appeal.”

Hurrah for Bells of Lazonby! We are so happy and proud to have them on board for #CFBA2018 #WeAreCumbria

How to keep the family business alive.

How to make sure your family business is here for the next generation

Everyone knows we’re all about celebrating family businesses, large and small. One of the things that makes them special is their ability to stay around for a long time, a really long time! During our #CFBA2018 story we’ve met Cumbrian family businesses going back as far as seven generations, but how do businesses protect themselves for the long term? Graham and Chris Lamont are the father and son team of Lamont Pridmore who talked us through things…

In a family business it can be difficult to discuss salaries, pensions and other forms of remuneration for family members.  Yet, open and honest conversations about earning expectations and financial security are vital to protect the business and the family wealth.  – Chris Lamont (second generation family business owner at Lamont Pridmore)

Son Chris Lamont and Dad Graham Lamont of Lamont Pridmore

Identifying and recording what’s important to you, the family business and other family members in terms of your wealth goals is vital.  Only by discussing these expectations, can you then develop a strategy to ensure these goals are achievable and ensure the business can deliver the desired lifestyle for all involved.

These issues become particularly important when planning any succession in the family business.  It is essential for family members to discuss their expectations in terms of current or future remuneration, dividend payments and pension planning.

Some vital questions include:

  • Is the business profitable enough to sustain all the family members who work in it?
  • Can the older generation earn sufficient income to retire comfortably?
  • Will the business pay an appropriate market salary to the younger generation while working in the business?

You may also need to consider how to secure the overall financial future of the business and ensure that non-family members and employees are protected.  Ultimately, all family businesses would like to ensure continuing success and profitability for future generations.

Protecting the Family Wealth through a Life-Wealth-Plan

Lamont Pridmore has developed a family Life-Wealth-Plan to help you tackle some of the, sometimes challenging, conversations about business profitability, family wealth and investments and estate planning.

Your Life-Wealth-Plan will include:

  • Assessing your wealth goals and developing a strategy to achieve them
  • Benchmarking the family business against others in its sector and assessing whether it is profitable enough
  • Reviewing your particular family circumstances
  • Reviewing the protection and life cover of key members working in the family business
  • Reviewing the performance of any investments
  • Ensure the business and/or family members take advantage of the most tax efficient borrowing, income, growth and profit extraction
  • Ensuring your pension plans are funded in the most tax efficient way
  • Developing an estate and inheritance tax plan to protect the family wealth
  • Developing a clear, fully costed succession strategy
  • Reviewing and updating action plans and milestones as circumstances change

Whilst many business owners spend most of their time planning the affairs of their company, they spend too little time considering their own personal financial position. The development of a Life-Wealth-Plan could ensure that your family business, and those working within it, are financially secure.

For more information please contact Graham Lamont or Chris Lamont on 0800 234 6978 or email or

Protecting the Family Wealth

If you’re interested in finding out more about this important issue for family businesses, join Graham and Chris Lamont at a Next Generation Round Table session ‘Protecting the Family Wealth’.   This topic is ideal for senior family business members and the next generation – those who are already actively involved in the family business and those who are still considering whether to join – and will help you kickstart some of those difficult conversations.

Friday 23rd March 2018, 9.30 am – 12 noon, North Lakes Hotel, Penrith

Book via or see

Our Sponsors

A huge thank you to all our sponsors for the Cumbria Family Business Awards 2019