Broadband for business : Connecting Cumbria

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Broadband for business

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Enjoy a superfast online business experience

For businesses it's the upload speeds that really make a difference. Faster broadband enables small businesses to work faster and more efficiently, reducing the need to travel. Having faster upload and download speeds also means small businesses can benefit from job creation and business expansion.
Grow Business
Case study - Base 3
Case study - Friars
Case Study - Blencogo Farm

Superfast broadband allows you to make your marketing digital, with the ability to reach customers through new, faster and easier to track communications options like Facebook and Twitter.

A deeper conversation

No more barriers

Improved customer relations

Social media and digital marketing can enable you to have engaging, two way conversations with potential customers.There are no geographical boundaries, so your new customers could be everywhere and anywhere.Cloud based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems mean you have access to the same tools as larger companies � with all the same benefits, but for a fraction of the cost.

World leading business BASE 3 take full advantage of Superfast services in Cumbria "Superfast broadband has benefitted our business greatly.''

Ian Mc Donald, Director of Base 3

Base 3 Image


Base 3 Systems was founded over a decade ago by a group of specialists in the development and deployment of business intelligence solutions.  They have recently expanded their operations by opening a new office in Ulverston and are taking full advantage of the availability of superfast fibre broadband.

Ian Mc Donald, Director of Base 3, explains the difference the availability of superfast broadband has made.

�Base 3 currently has 50 staff and recruits 8 graduates at a time. This year we will be running a minimum of 3 intakes.  The business is a specialist SAS systems consultancy and is the largest SAS-only consultancy in the UK.  The company was formed in 1996 and has since started over 300 IT careers in this specialist area.  Our client base is pure blue chip, spread throughout the UK.

Now that we have upgraded to superfast broadband the faster speeds make basic maintenance very simple and everything is a lot less time consuming.  Whilst it is not a vital service it is an extremely attractive option and I am very pleased that we have taken it up.

As a result of having improved superfast broadband our staff are able to communicate between offices much more efficiently enabling a whole new level of remote working which was not feasible on a standard line.  This has a very positive impact on the quality of the work that we do.

In real terms, when we update our software, which means downloading 1GB of data, this is completed in two minutes rather than 30+ minutes it used to take."


"Superfast broadband has enabled us to communicate more efficiently''

Michael Webster, Director of Friars

Friars photo

Friars specialise in luxurious chocolates, gifts and treats online and in store.  The company was established in 1927 as a family business and remains in the same family to this day.  They have high street stores located in Keswick and Ambleside and an e-commerce website specialising in fulfilling corporate orders for businesses ranging from small hotels through to multinational corporations.

Michael Webster, Director of Friars, explains the difference the availability of superfast broadband has made to his business.

�We were struggling with communication between our two stores prior to the arrival of superfast broadband in the area.  Improved speeds have enabled the implementation of Voice over IP technology which has vastly improved communication between the two stores, making it feel as though you are �in the same room� and allowing for remote desk top activity and the sending of large files for bespoke packaging at a significantly faster speed.�

�Now that we have upgraded to superfast broadband, the basic maintenance of our website is much less time consuming and is now mobile friendly.  Our ability to carry out e-commerce work has improved, as has the browsing of supplier catalogues online.�

Friars customer base is described as 20% from within Cumbria, and 80% from outside of the county.  Internet sales make up 15% of their business with the remainder being retail associated.  Staffing wise, the company�s workforce includes 19 full time staff and 5 part time staff across the two stores.  Michael believes that improved broadband services can only support the company in reaching its full potential.

Michael said �with regard to our upgrade, we found this to be a very positive experience; we remained with our existing provider and found the upgrade cost to be minimal to that of our previous service�.

Michael would urge other businesses to look into the possibility of upgrading in order to reap the benefits a faster service can offer. external link will open in a new window

017687 72234

Friars of Keswick � 6-8 Market Square, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5JD

Friars of Ambleside � Eloise House, Market Place, Ambleside LA22 9BU

TV presenter Kim Inglis-Jeffries and her husband David Jeffries have found the high-speed technology has been a huge boost for their work and personal lives at Blencogo Farm.

Kim said: "Life before fibre � I don�t really know how to describe it. The internet was so slow here and for the farm we rely on using the internet and social media. We send and use lots of photographs and I could waste half a day trying to send an email with photographs on it whereas now it just goes like that! It�s made the absolute world of difference."

Kim explained how having a fast fibre connection has resulted in them becoming a great deal more productive.

She said: "It�s really important obviously that we can do things on the website � keep people up to date when we have babies born or when we�re doing things like shearing or mating we need to be able to tell people. And now we can do it at the touch of a button.�

Not only has it enabled them to become more productive, it�s also meant they can attract more visitors to the farm.

"What we�ve found is with the fibre broadband, we can react much quicker, we can reach more people and we have started to have people who have come from Manchester or further afield who have seen something on social media and decided that they would like a hands-on experience.�

David Jeffries also runs a business from the farm, Ministry of Doing, which is a company that provides digital services from consultancy through to building websites, with clients all over the world. Having superfast fibre broadband has enabled him to communicate with them a lot better than before.

Kim is also a TV presenter and journalist so she�s very often out �on the road� working, including recording voice overs. She can now send the voice overs from her home on the farm.

But it�s not just about boosting their business. Now they are able to stream media, such as BBC iPlayer and Spotify, and use Facetime to communicate with family.

Steve Haines, managing director for Openreach, said: "Cumbria has some very challenging terrain with some major obstacles to overcome as we deliver high-speed fibre broadband to as many communities and businesses as possible, such as farms like Blencogo.�

More than nine out of ten premises across the UK can access superfast broadband speeds. For more details on the roll-out visit

To see the video of this case study click

Improve efficiency
Case study - Hawkshead Brewery
Case Study - Heather Glen Country House
Case Study - The Howtown Hotel

Superfast broadband allows you to make your marketing digital, with the ability to reach customers through new, faster and easier to track communications options like Facebook and Twitter.

Work from anywhere

Work smarter

Reduce your assets

Cloud based document sharing means you can work from anywhere. Fibre broadband at home means you can even catch up in the garden!Now you can share assets and even collaborate on documents in real time. And high quality videoconferencing means you can be sure you�re seeing eye to eye.Say goodbye to costly investments in IT systems, and all the pain of upgrades. Let the cloud be your datacentre, and switch to simple pay as you go payment options.

Cumbria Based Hawkshead Brewery take advantage of superfast services in Cumbria

"�Access to the internet is an integral part of our business and upgrading to fibre for us was a no-brainer�

Gemma Greenbank, Hawkshead Brewer


Hawkshead Brewery


 Being one of the most successful of the new wave of independent breweries which have ignited public excitement about beer and furthered the renaissance of the British brewing industry, the Hawkshead Brewery brew distinctive, flavourful, modern beers, made by people who love beer for people who love beer.

The company, based in Staveley Mill Yard, employs 20 full time staff.  They deliver their products widely throughout the North of England and also abroad and have their own bar open to the public every day based at the brewery in Stavely.

Gemma explains the problems the business faced prior to the upgrade to fibre broadband.

�Prior to the arrival of fibre broadband, at certain points in the day our existing service would drop to the point where we were unable to carry out business as usual�.

�Our business relies on broadband for the maintenance of our website, online sales, email communications, accessing orders, social media and for premises based customer payments and access to wifi�. 

�It was getting to the point where at certain times of the day we were unable to access or provide key services.  For example, our bar offers free wifi to customers.  When this was not available it led to complaints and potentially the loss of sales from frustrated customers.  We have clients in Hong Kong, Italy and Sweden, the most effective communication here is via broadband but at times this was not possible which reflected badly on our professionalism.

The upgrade to fibre broadband has significantly improved the Hawkshead Brewery team�s ability to continue with �business as usual�.  Gemma tells us how this has been the case.

�Now that we have upgraded to fibre broadband we can operate �business as usual� at all times of the day.  Customers are much happier with the consistent service we can provide.  Behind the scenes we are able to maintain our website more effectively with the uploading of images and information relating to our beers much quicker, we can always participate in online communications, keep on the front foot when it comes to social media and deal with orders and enquiries there and then�.

With regard to their upgrade, Gemma said �We shopped around for different quotes before upgrading and went with our existing telephone supplier who matched the cheapest quote we received.  Our monthly payment is now less than that of the service we were receiving prior to the upgrade!�

Gemma would encourage other businesses to get on-line, �Access to the internet is an integral part of our business and upgrading to fibre for us was a no-brainer, it provides us with a reliable (and faster) connection, vital not just for day-to-day sales, email and social media but for file sharing and communicating with export contacts.�


Hawkshead Brewery - external link will open in a new window

Mill Yard, Staveley, Cumbria LA8 9LR

Brewery: 01539 822644

The Beer Hall: 01539 825260


One local business who is very much benefitting from the arrival of fibre in Ainstable village, is The Heather Glen Country House.

        ""One of the most frequent requests we get from clients is access to wi-fi.  Upgrading to fibre has meant this is something we can offer at a fast and reliable speed. "'

Manager, David Graham

Heather Glen Country House


Set in the heart of the Eden Valley, the Heather Glen Country House is a family-run wedding venue and restaurant whih also offers private functions and accommodation.

Manager, David Graham describes how improved broadband speeds have benefitted the business. "Our business has really benefitted in terms of the service we can offer to our customers as well as supporting marketing activities, website maintenance and responding to enquiries."

"One of the most frequent requests we get from clients is access to Wi-Fi. Upgrading to fibre has meant this is something we can offer at a fast and reliable speed

"We are also now able to maintain our website more effectively, have become more savvy with online communication and deal with online bookings in a more effective way

The improved service has also enabled the Heather Glen Country House to establish a new text and email notification service which tells people when there are tables available in the restaurant or rooms free as well as special menu's, special offer's and events. David would encourage other businesses to upgrade their broadband service to fibre. He said: "The upgrade has provided us with a much more reliable and faster connection which has made a huge difference to our internal day to day business and our ability to promote our services to the rest of the world"'


The Heather Glen Country House

Ainstable Village




Tel: 01768 896219

Web Address: external link will open in a new window




Howtown Hotel on Ullswater now has access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in Cumbria � after engineers found a low-tech solution to link them up with fibre.Howtown�s high speed connectivity is all down to the perseverance of locals, Connecting Cumbria and engineers from Openreach.

The tourist hotspot had previously proven beyond the reach of high speed fibre broadband, separated from the nearest telephone exchange by a 2km stretch of challenging fell side.

However, engineers from Openreach, Britain�s leading digital infrastructure provider, came up with a solution by hanging a fibre optic cable from a string of specially built telegraph poles. The cable was then split out and fed directly to the 15 individual households and businesses in the hamlet � using FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) technology. The challenge was to install the poles along the fell side with limited access due to the off road terrain.

Broadband campaigner Graeme Connacher explains: �Some of the engineers, and they�re the real unsung heroes in this, were up on the fell side carrying poles on their shoulders�and eventually we did it.

�And round the back of the little hotel here, which serves this little part of the community is a pole, with fibre direct to it.�

The Howtown Hotel is famous for its �very traditional� hospitality.

Ironically, the hotel markets itself as a haven from the modern world with no TVs or telephones in any of its rooms. But its famous tea rooms are connected which has gone down very well with visitors.

In addition, staff at the hotel, many of who come from Eastern Europe, are thrilled with their high speed connection as it makes staying in touch with home so much easier.

Michael, who works at the hotel, said: �Now the internet is way much better � at least 100 times better than last year. Now everybody can start to make a video call and I am watching the weather at our home town.�

Fast fibre broadband has brought benefits across the whole of Ullswater, including to another business, one of the biggest attractions in the Lake District, Ullswater Steamers.

Lisa Braithwaite, attractions marketing manager at Ullswater Steamers, said: �We�ve now got really fast internet over here to allow customers to download our app when they come which means they can watch all of our commentary.

�We�ve also got the weather stations and our webcam on our website so people can see the conditions from one end of the lake to the other.

�Thanks to fibre broadband business is really booming here.�

Graeme Connacher added: �I�ve likened this bit of infrastructure coming into the valley as to when electricity first came into the dale.

�It really has been down to the community effort and everybody pulling together that�s made this possible.�

The remote hamlet is just one of many small communities across the county that have been connected up to high speed broadband using FTTP technology as part of the Connecting Cumbria project.

To see the full video relating to this story, please click herethis external link will open in a new window

Manage change
Case study - Silverlink Clinics
Case Study - The Pot Place

Your business will be able to respond to market conditions at greater speed. Also, you can deal with new regulations and procurement guidelines, without all that waiting around. Why? Because superfast broadband lets you move your systems into the cloud without worrying about whether you can all access them reliably. Upgrade, compliance and security become someone else�s problems.

Cope with ease

Keep up-to-date

React quickly

Deal with regulatory compliance without having to manage and implement costly system upgrades. Rent cloud-based services with the updates included in the monthly costs.When it�s this fast to upload and download content, you don�t have to keep that outdated catalogue on your laptop. And your customers benefit too; uploading web site content � even video � takes seconds, not hours.Time is of the essence in business, and now you'll have the speed to react to change.

One business who is over the moon with the arrival of high speed broadband is Silverlink Clinics.  Silverlink Clinics are private clinics dedicated to helping people lose weight, providing non-surgical Alevere Therapy which delivers fast, safe and effective weight loss together with skin tightening and body shaping.

Chris Matthews Founder & CEO of the clinics in Carlisle, Berwick, Newcastle and Stockton spoke of the huge benefit that the arrival of fibre broadband has had on his business. 

�We are now able to operate a Site to Site Virtual Private Network (VPN) service between our clinics which has improved the security and privacy when sharing data, means a better connectivity and allows us to operate free telephone communication between clinic bases.�

Promotion of the services provided by Silverlink Clinics is heavily focused on social media; the improved broadband speed in the area has benefitted the ability to post videos and other information.

�Our website and social media pages rely highly on client testimonial videos to promote the services which we offer.  Prior to our upgrade, the upload of these videos was time consuming and unreliable; now uploads are fast and without error.�

�We are now also able to offer a wifi service to our patients; the environment in which treatments are carried out is extremely important to us.  Being able to offer a fast and reliable wifi service is a definite advantage to our business.� 

The arrival of fibre broadband is a huge benefit for both residents and businesses in Carleton. Chris said �the arrival of fibre is of great benefit in the area, the improved speeds tick every box in terms of meeting daily internet needs�. 

Silverlink Clinics

The Orchards




Tel: 0191 466 1010

High-speed fibre broadband is now in the Eden village of Plumpton.

One local business who is thrilled with the benefits of fibre is The Pot Place, a garden centre, tea room and farm shop attraction on the edge of the village.

the pot place

Owners Kevin Roper and Paul Thomas said: �Improved broadband speed and reliability has had such a huge benefit to our business in terms of supporting website maintenance, responding to enquiries, uploading and downloading files and updating our social media sites. 

�The improved fibre service has meant we can also now offer a free and reliable internet connection throughout our tea room where visitors can sit, surf and relax.  Prior to the upgrade this service wavered between inconsistent to non-existent; we can now offer a fast fibre service which many of our customers take advantage of when they visit.�

Kevin added: �A good connection is vital for rural areas; it allows businesses to expand, publicise and compete with the rest of the world.�

The Pot Place is keen to explore additional avenues which the arrival of fibre broadband can bring to their business and urge customers to �watch this space� in what they describe as �exciting times ahead.�

For more information regarding the Pot Place, please visit external link will open in a new windowor call in to their centre at Station Yard, Plumpton, Penrith, CA11 9PA.

Work flexibly
Case study - Scruffy Dog

Every business relies upon customer, product and commercial data. Now it will be easier to protect these valuable assets and resources � and you can feel confident they are backed up and easy to recover, in an instant.

Hassle-free back up

Recover data


Now it only takes a few minutes to back-up (or restore!) valuable information.Without your customer and billing data your business wouldn�t last a fortnight. Make sure that they are backed up offsite, and securely archived. Don�t leave your business dependent on that ageing server under your desk!You can access your data, files and information easily and securely � and from anywhere.

Scruffy Dog Media using superfast services in Cumbria to work more flexibly

Scruffy Dog

Imagine being a digital video production company and having to wait at least 48 hours for a courier to deliver your latest work on a hard drive to your client to get their feedback.

Until last year, that�s the wait Scruffy Dog Media used to be faced with when communicating with its client, Mattel, in America.

Based in Cleator Moor, a small town in Cumbria, Scruffy Dog Media writes and produces educational programmes and content for children for big names such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder.

Fast forward 12 months and now large 8Gb files can be sent over the internet in minutes thanks to superfast fibre broadband. So while their local courier companies may now have more time on their hands, Scruffy Dog Media are looking forward to a busier future. And fibre broadband is enabling them to build up a relationship with their big name clients in Canada and Los Angeles as though they are based in the next town.

Lorna Hardy, producer at Scruffy Dog Media, explains what fibre broadband has meant for their business, �When we had our old broadband, it was quicker for us to do the 80 mile round trip to Carlisle to upload a video. Now not only does superfast fibre save us travel and courier costs, it also frees up more time to enable us to work on other business. Without it we definitely wouldn�t have some of the clients we do now.

�We currently have five full time staff and have just moved into bigger offices to allow us room to grow, something that would not be possible without the extra work we�ve taken on as a result of the time we�ve saved with fibre.�

Lorna has also noticed an additional benefit as the fibre is rolled out across Cumbria when the production crews are out and about filming in places such as Alston, the highest market town in England. �The weather is so changeable in Cumbria, particularly in winter, that I need to let the crew out on the road know whether certain routes are passable or not and direct them alternative ways.

�Since fibre broadband has become more available across the county, I�ve found that the free wifi I can pick up in hotels or cafes and restaurants has improved so much that I can easily access the traffic reports online when I�m out and about.�

Scruffy Dog Media�s fibre broadband was delivered thanks to Connecting Cumbria. Find out more

Find out more about Scruffy Dog Media external link will open in a new window

Cut costs
The Howards Arms, Brampton

Superfast broadband gives your business the means to take-up services that can have a very real impact on your bottom line.  For example, technologies Voice Over IP solutions and video conference conferencing.

Cut IT costs

Cut travel costs

Save time

You can minimise the expense of technology infrastructure by moving to cloud based services for CRM, billing and support.Why travel to meetings when you can video conference?Time is money. With faster upload and downloads, you'll all work more efficiently.

One Cumbria business who is reaping the benefit of fibre is The Howards Arms, a pub, restaurant and hotel situated in this beautiful market town of Brampton, ideal for people looking to discover what Cumbria has to offer.

Dulce Brodie who owns the business alongside husband Thomas explained how the arrival fibre has had such a positive effect on the services they are able to offer to their customers.

�prior to the arrival of fibre, the wifi service we were able to offer to our customers left a lot to be desired, different areas of the building would provide different levels of intermittent service.  Since the upgrade last year this is no longer a problem and we can confidently advertise as being able to offer a strong wifi service throughout our establishment�.

�Wifi is something which we feel a lot of clients have come to expect; being able to offer this definitely gives us an advantage on the marketplace.�

�In terms of the reviews we receive, poor wifi service is no longer an issue and I honestly think that this has resulted in more bookings for us�.

The establishment also offers a corporate suite which can seat up to 60 attendees for meetings / events.  Dulce told us �being able to offer Wifi alongside our function room really opens up doors in terms of meeting the needs of clients who make use of the facility�.

Behind the scenes, the Howards Arms are benefitting from being able to go about their day to day job in a much more effective way in terms of the time taken to update their website, respond to customer enquiries and place orders for goods.

Dulce would urge other business in the area to consider making an upgrade to fibre broadband �for us, as a hotel, eating and drinking establishment, the upgrade has very much improved the services we are able to offer to our clients and how we are able to perform our back office functions.  It has also better enabled us to compete with others and have a stronger presence in the industry we are part of�

For more information regarding the Howards Arms, please visit