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University of Cumbria scoops top award

University of Cumbria Credit: ITV Border

The University of Cumbria has picked up a leading award for supporting small and medium-sized businesses.

The Small Business Charter, which brings together leading business schools across the UK, has given the university a Small Business Charter bronze award.

Successful business projects supported by the university include a scheme in Carlisle to help retailers compete in a global market and helping students and recent graduates start out in business.

“The university is extremely proud to achieve the Small Business Charter bronze award. Whilst, as one of the UK's newest universities and we are still a relative new start-up ourselves in the world of business and enterprise, this award recognises our commitment and the strength of our broad-range of programmes to support business enterprise and growth. Particularly, amongst small businesses who are the backbone of the Cumbrian economy.

“I am especially proud of the Business School and our dedicated staff at the Business Interaction Centres who have channelled their research, training, knowledge, expertise and mentoring to support 100s of growing businesses and our own student start-ups.”

– Sandra Booth, Pro Vice Chancellor Enterprise-Business Development & Engagement, at the University of Cumbria


School children meet Tour of Britain mascot

Children with the Tour of Britain mascot Credit: Cumbria County Council

The end of the summer term is always special for school children and ToBi, the official mascot of the Aviva Tour of Britain, helped make it even more magical for two primary schools in Cumbria this week.

Yanwath School near Penrith and All Saints Primary School in Cockermouth are both on the route of the two Cumbrian stages of the big race in September.

ToBi visited the schools to encourage any last-minute entries in the ‘Design the starting flag’ and ‘Design the winner’s jersey’ school competitions, which closes for entrants on the last day of the school term.

The two local sponsors of the competitions, Cockermouth-based automotive engineering business M-Sport and United Utilities were also at the schools to mark their backing of the big race. Both M-Sport (starting flag) and United Utilities (winner’s jersey) will be involved in the judging, with the winners announced at the end of the summer holidays.

The two companies say backing the Cumbrian stages of the UK’s largest free sporting event is an important symbol of their support for the local community, as they recognise the economic and longer-term benefits the Aviva Tour of Britain brings to the county.

Standing from left to right next to the M-Sport rally car behind the seated children from All Saints Primary, Cockermouth are Mr Stretch (Active Cumbria performer), ToBi (Tour of Britain mascot) and John Hilton, Project Director from United Utilities Credit: Cumbria County Council

“Cockermouth will have never seen anything like the start of the Tour before and we’re excited to be getting behind the race. For me, there is no bigger adrenaline rush than being behind the wheel of a world rally car, and I’m sure it’s something similar for the cyclists at the start line of the Tour of Britain.

"I’d like to see the flag competition entries come up with a design that captures all of the excitement, energy and glory that comes with competing at the top level of your chosen sport.”

– Malcolm Wilson, former World Championship rally driver

Alston schools could be merged

Three schools in Alston could be merged. Credit: ITV Border

People in Alston want the area's secondary school and two primary schools to be merged, according to a consultation.

Earlier this year Cumbria County Council carried out an informal consultation to consider the future of Samuel King’s, Nenthead and Alston schools.

It got almost 350 responses, and 59.4 percent favoured the creation of one 'all-through' school, where

That was because the number of pupils at the schools has fallen, and current arrangements are not sustainable.

“We’re going through this process to safeguard the future of secondary education in Alston Moor because falling numbers of pupils means the current arrangements are not sustainable.

“I’d like to thank local people for giving us their views and taking the time to get involved in the informal consultation.

“Any change will require further consultation prior to decisions being taken and the community will be kept informed throughout that process.”

– Councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Schools and Learning

A working group will now be established to research the proposals.


Penrith School 450th Birthday

The Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith is celebrating its 450th anniversary.

From 12 noon until 8 today (Saturday 28th June) there's live music, "celebrity" guests, tennis and sprinting competitions and a hog roast.

On Sunday 29th June, the school's current pupils will challenge former pupils to a cricket match, followed by a service at St Andrew's Church.

The service will feature readings and music from the last 450 years.

Programme for Saturday 28 June:

  • 12 noon to 6pm Stalls including: tombola, candy floss, coconut shy, hook a duck, giant buzzer, cupcakes, ice cream parlour, plant stall, book stall,
  • 12 noon to 3pm Giant Bouncy Castle
  • 12 noon to 2pm Barbecue & Tennis Tournament for Year 7 and Year 8
  • 12 noon to 1pm Performances by school musicians
  • 1pm Burying of time capsule
  • 1.30pm to 2.30pm Drama performances
  • 2pm to 3pm Sprinting competitions started by Gwenda Ward
  • 2pm to 3.30pm Tennis Tournament for Year 9 and Year 10
  • 2pm to 4pm Will Addison (Sale Sharks) rugby masterclass & musical performances
  • 3.30pm to 6pm Open Tennis Tournament
  • 4pm Planting of The Anniversary Oak
  • 5pm Flash mob - Les Misérables : One Day More
  • 6pm to 8pm Band performances
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