Lara Mellor, of Lara Mellor Training and Consultancy, has come full circle after previously receiving fully funded support herself through the Business Northumberland programme and graduating from trainee to trainer.

With the programme’s new focus on improving the digital skills of small and medium sized businesses across the North East, Lara has been successful in securing a three year contract to deliver Microsoft Office Software workshops.

Lara relocated to Warkworth in December 2016, after falling in love with Northumberland, however moving house meant relocating the business.

“It was essentially like starting all over again. Although I had all my content and my experience, I had to re-establish myself as a business and build new business networks from nothing”

Focusing on developing her network across Northumberland and the wider North East area Lara came across the Business Northumberland programme and, in April 2017, Lara registered for the fully funded support available to her.

The programme provides support to small and medium enterprises across the North East who are looking to sustain and grow their business and is match funded by the England European Regional Development Fund and Advance Northumberland, so there is no cost to eligible businesses.

After attending a range of workshops including marketing and social media, Lara found her business and confidence grew.

“The knowledge that I gained from attending so many courses myself has help put my Microsoft Training business in the position it is today and gave me the confidence to apply for the Microsoft trainer position for the duration of the project.”

After a successful bid, Lara Mellor Training and Consultancy was awarded a three year contract to deliver Microsoft Office workshops to eligible SMEs in the North East. Business Northumberland will be hosting Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook workshops in venues across the county.

“I am delighted to be able to help support other SMEs having been given the opportunity to deliver the Microsoft part of the new programme that has just launched.”

Chair of Advance Northumberland Richard Wearmouth said: “This is an excellent example of a company which has continued to flourish after relocating to the county and getting support from Business Northumberland.

“We’re always looking to attract new businesses to Northumberland and there’s a huge range of support and incentives available, often at no cost to the business themselves.”