WORDSWORTH experts have launched an enterprise centre which aims to use artistic ideas — including those of the Lakeland poet — to improve businesses.

The Romantic writer is being held up as a modern inspiration for managers and entrepreneurs, who are following his walking routes to find new concepts for enterprise.

Academic leaders from Lancaster University hope that by adapting his creative ideas, and by encouraging those of their students, they can help nurture a new generation of creative-minded businesses.

English professor Simon Bainbridge has taken groups of up to 150 people on tours of Wordsworth walks through Rydal and Grasmere to discuss how his poetic ideas can help them in a business world.

Groups of managers and entrepreneurs from busi-nesses as diverse as airlines and IT have been drawing inspiration from the poet and his work as part of a series of leadership devel-opment days.

“We discuss Wordsworth’s concept of time, his visions and his collaboration with Coleridge to help people understand other ways of thinking about their own ideas and how to use them,” said Mr Bainbridge.

“Wordsworth was often critical of capitalism but he can still help people in business think about their priorities and their career and how they can deal creatively with problems.”

Lancaster University’s new centre, which opened on Tuesday, provides ind-ustry placements for acad-emics, financial help for students undertaking unpaid internships, intensive coach-ing for students with business start-up ideas and master classes.

Professor Chris May, who will lead the centre, said: “There’s a common mis-conception that entrepren-eurs come from a business background but more than 50 per cent of students setting up their own bus-iness with support from Lancaster University are from an arts or social science background.

“Lancaster University has been carrying out unique work with the student union enterprise and volunteering wing LUSU Involve for a number of years, setting students up for their future career through community volunteer projects and helping them to start their own businesses.

“Demand for this kind of opportunity among arts and social science students is greater than ever.

“Our enterprise centre will be a hub for businesses and academics to meet, share ideas, skills and opportunities and will go a long way towards supp-orting the growing culture of entrepreneurship across the faculty.”