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Knowledge Action Network

Knowledge Action NetworkThe Knowledge Action Network (KAN) was a successful business support programme delivered by the University of Cumbria in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Chester which ran from 2012 until February 2015.

It helped over 200 businesses to grow through developing new or innovative products/services or projects. The programme – supported by the European Regional Development Fund – was one of the flagship innovation programmes provided by the University of Cumbria to assist county businesses to grow.

Delegates received support through attending individual coaching sessions, peer-to-peer action groups with like-minded business owners and specialist advice from academics or consultants.

The Knowledge Action Network is celebrating the successes of the north west businesses it worked with by creating a celebration book. Looking back over the last three years and the eight cohorts who have worked through the programme, this book puts the businesses in the spotlight and highlights the success their hard work has deserved

In Cumbria alone we created 15 jobs and safeguarded 36. We improved the performance of 29 businesses and created countless new opportunities.

However KAN was less about quantity and more about quality. Have a read of some of the things delegates said about their positive experience with the programme.

What delegates thought of the programme

Our delegates have reaped massive benefits from the support we offered and the chance to meet others facing similar business challenges.

Watch the videos below to hear directly from our delegates about why they found participation in the Knowledge Action Network so useful.


“The Knowledge Action Network Group I am part of has brought together a wide range of different industries and at first I had my doubts about how we could benefit each other. However, in the short time we have been together it’s been amazing to uncover how different but yet how similar we are. There is a common thread of hurdles that we face, be it being part of a family business and the issues that brings, to employing others and how you strive to get the best from them. Each business is at a different stage and with such an open group the discussions have been, for me, very thought provoking and have inspired me again to reflect on my own leadership development so that I can continue to inspire others.”

Rachel Kilpin-Miller, Twoey Toys

"The Knowledge Action Network is proving beneficial on various fronts. I am finding the one to one business coaching particularly useful as I currently have major investment choices to make so qualified outside views are most welcome as part of the decision making process. The workshops on marketing, innovation and green energy were well worth attending and have either refreshed or increased my knowledge base in every case. Finally the networking opportunities have provided new local contacts and business insights."

Mark Vollers, Coast Aquarium


We offer our delegates the chance to get help and advice from leading experts from a wide-range of industries.

Designer and entrepreneur Wayne Hemingway is among the guest speakers who have shared their knowledge and insight with us at KAN events.

Watch the video (right) to see highlights of his presentation at our Innovation and Collaboration Day.

Case studies

Find out how involvement with the Knowledge Action Network helped these companies:

More information

For more information on the programme and its legacy call John Berry on 01900 605665 / 07916 166721 or email: john.berry@cumbria.ac.uk

Download a copy of the KAN brochure

Visit the north west website at www.knowledge-action.co.uk

ERDF Logo 2007-13

The KAN project is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Energy Coast Campus Programme.