Custompress text area - how do I show line breaks on the front end?

I've created a custom post type and set up a number of custompress custom fields for a company portfolio page; things like Awards, History, Team members etc and the client doesn't want the end users to have to insert </br> for a new line. I've been through the forum and looked at the varying solutions for adding WYSIWYG to the fields, but every attempt has resulted in the backend showing the editor but the front end just showing the data in it's unformatted state. I've added the content filter on the page template but it's still doesn't show.
I'm using the latest versions of everything. Was this feature ever addressed by the dev team? Some of the posts were a couple of years old on this.

Also, I want to restrict the number of characters in a text field to 300 characters. I've tried ^[a-zA-Z0-9 *]{1,300}$ but it says that the field is over limit for any number of characters.

Any advice would be welcome.

Many thanks

Vic