Steering Group Members

MARTIN ALLMAN – Cumbria County Council

Martin has worked for Cumbria County Council since 2005. His current role is Economic Programmes Manager and he previously occupied various roles in the Environment directorate. Prior to this, Martin worked in various environmental, education and training roles in Manchester, Cheshire and Norfolk for public, private and third sector organisations. He gained a BSc (Hons) in Applied Environmental & Resource Sciences from the University of Salford and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from the University of Manchester. He is a member of the Institute of Leadership & Management.

JANET CARTER – Light up Lives CIC

Janet lives and works in Cumbria where she heads up Light Up Lives, a Community Interest Company passionate about people, tackling social isolation and enhancing communication and conversation for everyone in our communities. Janet believes that acting locally to enable and inspire kinder and more collaborative communities, who share their knowledge and expertise to support each other is the way that we can maximise our social impact and build a better kinder and more sustainable world.

BOB CLARK – Northern Fells Broadband

Bob is former CEO of the Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency, with wide ranging experience managing multi-million pound projects. He served in a national capacity as Regional Director of the NFEA, a Director of the Rural Service Network and as a member of CRC Rural Business Finance Forum, in addition to many local roles, including Director of University of Cumbria, Cumbria Renewables Panel, CART, Appleby Heritage Training Centre and a trustee of a number of charitable organisations. An agriculturalist by training, he continues to farm in partnership with his wife and son on a small upland farm in the northern fells.


As an eager advocate for the third sector, Joanna Coleman is a graduate of the Aspiring Leaders Programme (ALP) provided by the Brathay Trust and University of Cumbria, where she was awarded a first-class honours BSc in Social Enterprise Leadership. In addition, Joanna holds a BA in Business Management and is currently studying for a MSC in Leadership Practice. Joanna has held several Board positions within Cumbria, including her current role as a Trustee for Cumbria CVS and Brathay, and has been a Councillor for Carlisle City Council. Her career however consists largely of being in the Public Sector working both within the NHS and Cumbria County Council in roles working with the third sector.

PHIL DAVIES – Community Energy Cumbria

Phil Davies is a founder and director of Community Energy Cumbria Ltd and Burneside Community Energy Ltd, established in 2015 for the benefit of the communities. Phil has previously served as the Social Enterprise Manager for Impact Housing Association and currently works part time as the Low Carbon Manager for Cumbria Action for Sustainability. In 2013, Phil’s work on combining European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund programmes in west Cumbria was recognised by EU ministers as an exemplar of best practice.

SUE GILBERTSON – Cybermoor Ltd

Sue has been involved in the social enterprise sector for nearly 20 years, initially through her involvement with Cybermoor, the Alston based community broadband co-operative. During this time, she has provided support, advice and mentoring to other Cumbrian social enterprises both new and existing SEs on a wide range of issues. Sue has been involved in delivering the County Council’s social enterprise support contract for 15 years and currently coordinates the programme on behalf of the CSEP and delivers business support through the programme.

SYLVIA GRAINGER – University of Cumbria

Sylvia has worked in enterprise support for over 26 years, initially in Northumberland where she was a Business Adviser, using knowledge and skills developed working in industry. Sylvia went on to manage 6 business advice centres in her role as Director of Enterprise Services before leaving Northumberland to join the University of Cumbria in 2012. Living in Cumbria, Sylvia has a positive ‘can do’ approach taking an active part in enterprise and the development of skills.

DANIEL HEERY – Charge my Street Ltd

Daniel is founder and CEO of Cybermoor, a community broadband co-operative based in Alston. Daniel has provided support, advice and mentoring to rural social enterprises for the last 20 years and has worked with a wide range of social enterprises. He was a Cabinet Office Social Enterprise Ambassador from 2008 to 2010, raising the profile of the sector across the UK and Cumbrian representative on the Board of Social Enterprise NW. He is also a founder member of INCA and the Community Broadband Network, both co-ops operating in the field of broadband provision.

Daniel Heery


Viv has worked for the last 25 years in the rural social enterprise and co-operative development sector. In the early 2000’s, she led and managed a project to deliver support and advice to rural social enterprises in Cumbria. Through the co-operative consortium SECOD, Viv delivered this support helping to create new social enterprises, co-operatives and partnerships and support existing ones to build their capacity and make a real contribution to social and environmental justice.

QUENTIN MERRITT – Wingspan Consulting

With his co-director, Guy Huxtable, Quentin has helped to deliver several support programmes for Cumbrian social enterprises over the last decade. He has extensive experience of helping both new and existing SEs on a wide range of issues including legal structures, business planning, strategic development and funding. Previously, he was a member of the Social Economy Forum (the precursor to CSEP), worked on Voluntary Action Cumbria’s Enterprising Communities programme and was a Project Manager in the University of Cumbria’s Business and Community Enterprise Unit.

Quentin Merritt


Rob Randell is currently Partnership Chair and was previously Manager from 2009 to 2014. He is an Executive Member of Solway, Border & Eden LAG. Rob worked previously in a variety of senior roles in the private sector.


Dianne is currently CEO of Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster. Her varied career covers roles in public sector, education and nuclear as well as a period of self-employment.  An advocate of Lifelong Learning she gained a Business Management degree from UCLan in her 40’s and is currently studying for a Masters in Corporate Social Responsibility with Robert Gordon University. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and an Independent Board Member of Copeland Community Fund. She is passionate about making a difference in local communities and sees social enterprises as a key sector to make this happen.

LORRAINNE SMYTH – Action for Communities in Cumbria

Lorrainne has been Chief Executive of ACT since 2012. Prior to this she worked as Strategic Policy Advisor/Community Programmes & Performance Manager for Cumbria County Council. Lorrainne previously worked for ACT from 1993 to 2007 as Development Team Manager. She has worked extensively with parish councils, village halls, graduate apprentices, and undertaken project development and delivery with communities throughout Cumbria. Lorrainne has also held management positions in private sector training and development companies, local authorities, and third sector organisations.

Lorrainne Smyth