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The second family business conference is to take place on Thursday 19th October at The Halston in Carlisle. Sue Coulson of Coulson Associates and founder of the Cumbria Family Business Network, is this year bringing the conference together in partnership with Armstrong Watson, who are currently celebrating 150 years of supporting, advising and protecting family businesses across Cumbria.

Sue Coulson
Sue Coulson, founder of the Cumbria Family Business Network

Dave Clarkson, of Armstrong Watson, said: “There are valuable lessons to be learnt with The Family Business Conference. Some of the greatest lessons in business can be sourced from those currently leading family business, and from those who are custodians of multi-generation operations who will be taking us through the challenges and the determination, the highs and the lows, the successes, the growth, the passion and the pride.”

As well as hearing from family owners who are sharing their stories for the first time, attendees will also hear valuable insights from industry experts and government influencers. William Robinson of Robinsons Brewery, Fred Story of Story Homes and Story Contracting are confirmed to be speaking at the event. Robinsons Brewery, who have laid down strong Cumbrian roots, are the brewery behind the re-opening of the 17th Century pub; The Queens Head in Troutbeck, following a devastating fire three years ago.

William Robinson, Managing Director (Pub Division) of Robinsons Brewery, said: “As custodian of a sixth-generation family business, I’m very much looking forward to being a part of The Family Business Conference, especially as we have recently opened The Queen’s Head in Troutbeck, which is a Cumbrian development we are really passionate about.”

The conference will be opened by John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Family Business, with William Robinson speaking candidly afterwards. The afternoon will see a lively panel debate followed by an insightful talk from Fred Story. Award-winning Story Homes are well known throughout Cumbria and beyond, and Fred Story will be speaking about his family’s journey as they plan for the future of the company.

Sue Coulson, founder of the Cumbria Family Business Network, has arranged for high-profile family business owners and experts to be involved. 

Sue Coulson explained: “I’m always impressed by how family businesses continually innovate from generation to generation, and I’m delighted Robinsons and Story Homes, who are shining examples of family business success, will be supporting the conference. The history and family business stories inspire current and future generations, and the aim of the conference is for each and everybody to take away inspiration which can be debated, shared and analysed, so that lessons can be taken back to their own businesses.” 

Sue Coulson, who recently won the Institute of Directors North West Award for Small Business Director, has created a full calendar for family businesses including the popular behind the scenes insight events. The conference will take place on Cumbria Family Business Day, which was launched in conjunction with Family Business United in 2016, and is set to celebrate family businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Tickets are £38 and are available to book online at or directly with Sue and her team AT: and 01539482410.

#FamBizConf @fambiznet @robbiesbrewery


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