Welcome To Furness Economic Development Forum

The Furness Economic Development Forum (FEDF) operates from Unit 4, Trinity Enterprise Centre at Furness Business Park Barrow. Its office is adjacent to that of Cumbria Growth Hub.

You can contact us by telephone at 01229 314 100 01229314039 or by email stuart@fedf.co.uk or twitter@fedf.co.uk.

The Furness / W Cumbria area is experiencing growth unprecedented in a generation with emerging projects resulting in an estimated £20-40bn of new investment between 2017 and the 2030s.

These projects comprise manufacturing programmes and construction projects.

The construction projects range from  a £350m new investment in life sciences at GSK Ulverston for manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, a £2bn Walney Extension windfarm is being built by Dong Energy to  National Grid ‘s plan new 400kv power transmission lines including a subsea tunnel from Roosecote to Heysham at cost of around £2.8bn to link one of the first of a new generation nuclear power generation stations at Moorside, West Cumbria to the grid at Heysham.

A number of manufacturing expansion projects related to growth of multinational and SW Cumbria based firms’ local expansions are also likely to occur,these include new facilities to manufacture food and are complemented by national strategic programme to deliver the Dreadnought class submarines which is expected to deliver £12bn of GVA benefit to UK with over £4bn of this coming into Barrow alone. A £525m modernisation of Barrow shipyard is part of this programme. It involves a new Resolution Building built by Wates Construction, developments by Morgan Sindall to create a Central Yard Complex, Primary Build Facility and SIF with Sir Robert McAlpine building a paint facility.

To meet the needs of these investments the Furness area need to grow its own workforce and attract in more skilled people, part of FEDF’s Delivery Plan involves raising awareness of the opportunities to work in Furness in globally operating, state of the art, large and sme sized businesses. It also involves offering bursaries to smes to take on apprentices and supporting the work of Furness Education and Skills Partnership.

FEDF delivers the area’s economic development priorities. It works with numerous private sector partners and organisations such as Cumbria Growth Hub, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Furness College It also liaises with trade unions.

FEDF works closely with Cumbria Growth Hub to ensure companies can potentially access its discretionary funds and advice. Currently its main contact we are using is Adrian Luckham. Cumbria Chamber of Commerce also assists especially through its new business start-up scheme and UKTI export support. Cumbria LEP Growth Deal Funding is supporting other measures that businesses can call on to add value to this group of assistance measures.

There are a large number of investment projects that will be happening 2017-20 many of these are listed below.

to help companies understand more about these projects FEDF has developed a “Guide to Opening doors to major projects” which is available on request from stuart@fedf.co.uk.The Guide outlines what the scope of each project is, who is involved, what their procurement and prequalification processes are and how to pre qualify. The Guide’s information is supplemented by the knowledge of the FEDF team which can brief you on more specific detail about each project and where opportunities may lie to get involved with them.

Additionally FEDF can help your company to find sites premises for your expansion. It also through its Accommodation Hub service will help firms find accommodation for incoming workforces in available apartments, flats, houses or other facilities locally.

TABLE 1 Project developments in Furness 2017-20
CENTRICA BATTERY POWER ( starts April 2017) Younicos https://www.younicos.com/     Morrisons Utility Services https://www.morrisonus.com/
BAE Weapon Systems (UK) ( starts Q1/2 2017)
GSK  BIOPHARM( starts to be confirmed) (50 is assumed power facility)
BAE  DDH PRIMARY BUILD FACILITY (starts February 2017) MORGAN SINDALL Q18 duration
NATIONAL GRID (Starts mid / late 2018 runs to 2024)**
DONG ENERGY WALNEY Extension  support boats

Turbine installation   needs    3 jack ups 24 support vessels 4 barges 8 tugs


33 vessels 3 primary 18 support 12 seabed preparation

Inter array

5 lay boats 3 anchor handlers 3 bury boats 12 support

DONG Energy Heliport construction Walney Airport
BAE SYSTEMS Airport improvement programme
MORGAN SINDALL at Trinity Enterprise Centre
Steam provision    Q3 2018 to Q1 2020 = Q 7dur
DDC Services           Q4 2017 to Q4 2018 = Q 5dur
Ship lift/transport Q2 2018 to Q1 2021 = Q16dur
Transfer cars          Q2 2018 to Q3 2019 = Q 6dur
Nuclear Berthing   Q4 2017 to Q2 2021 = Q15dur
Dock Level raising Q3 2019 to Q1 2025 = Q23dur
Crew Facility            Q2 2019 to Q3 2020 = Q 6dur
Smite                    Q1 2017 TO Q1 2019 = Q 9dur
Subtotal to carry forward
Project / timeframe 2017+
NW Total Ltd workshop extension Furness Business Park

FEDF is a public, private sector partnership chaired by Jackie Arnold MBE.
The current membership is as follows:
John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness
BAE Systems Maritime Submarines
Barrow Business Improvement District
Cumbria Chamber of Commerce/Cumbria Growth Hub
Cumbria Tourism
Dong Energy
Federation of Small Businesses
Furness College
Holker Estates
Keep our Future Afloat Campaign
Barrow in Furness Borough Council
Cumbria County Council
South Lakeland District Council
NHS Clinical Commissioning Group

FEDF’s objective is to support the economic growth of the Furness area (defined as the area within the Barrow and Furness Parliamentary Constituency boundary) and its companies through leadership, direct provision of services by partner organisations, by influencing others and coordination.

FEDF evolved from an initiative led by John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, whose report A National Cradle for Advanced Manufacturing – Towards a new economic vision for Furness’ ,June 2012,updated in June 2013 provided a framework for the current FEDF Delivery Plan,formally launched on 5th December 2014.

The Delivery Plan is a rolling forward list of priorities which has widespread buy-in across the business, local government, voluntary and health sectors. (See www.fedf.co.uk or Twitter @fedfsupplychain).

The Delivery Plan focus is on four economic drivers:
– skills for the future;
– business support, especially supply chain strengthening and growth, and Growth Hub support;
– infrastructure modernisation including business park development;
– environmental enhancement.

FEDF” works closely with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to contribute to delivery of its strategy, facilitate economic growth through the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan , the LEP Skills Plan, its Infrastructure Plan and the Government’s Growth Deal for Cumbria.

FEDF is currently delivering projects in partnership with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce (some supplier support) and Furness College(apprenticeship bursaries for sme sized firms).It also works with Department for International Trade and is part of an officials Support Group acting on behalf of FEDF comprising officers of FEDF, Barrow Council, Furness College and Bae Systems with help from Cumbria Council,South Lakeland Council.

FEDF’s flagship schemes are to deliver proposals  to strengthen supply chains and transform skills is funded by Coastal Communities Fund via direct grant from DCLG to Barrow Borough Council. Through the Fund businesses and individuals are offered support through work-streams which include:

CONTRACT PIPELINES AWARENESS RAISING enabling your businesses to easily access information on active and upcoming pipeline of contracts,the packages of work involved and minimum requirements for pre-qualification to tender for work.
FEDF’s unique guide to “opening doors to major projects” introduces you to planned and current investments in SW Cumbria in new life sciences, defence, subsea electronics, energy, road power, transport and rail developments, new manufacturing activity or public sector schools, health care and business park development that offer supplier opportunities.
The aim is to inform company owners, procurement and marketing teams of the huge amount of new investment and to facilitate access to key contacts within the organisations proposing developments, their main contractors or suppliers.
We can also help companies access local and national supplier opportunities on projects such as Hinkley C power station(HS2) and other schemes in either the private sector, local authority Utilities, NHS capital programmes or the National Infrastructure Programme. This information is offered on a 1-to-1 basis and through targeted events, web or app services.

INTENSIVE ONE-TO-ONE SUPPORT to help firms with assistance which can include for example identification of who to contact in large companies, understanding and developing accreditations or pre-qualification registrations, access to finance grants, finding sites for suppliers or skills or developing systems and processes to become fit to bid for and win contracts. Expert advisers can be provided to help businesses develop responses to contracts’ requirements and understand accreditation needs, pre-qualification requirements and put in place processes, procedures, capacity and capability to then go on to bid for contracts. Where required training and advice can be offered through the scheme to address these factors;

CAPABILITIES GUIDE DEVELOPMENT informs large companies about capacity and capabilities in the coastal area’s business base and enable sme sized companies to explore collaborative ventures by understanding what is on offer in other businesses. This information is available on a 1-to-1 basis.

GAP ANALYSIS OF SUPPLY CHAIN CAPABILITY identifies opportunities for companies to exploit gaps with new market offerings. It also helps to attract inward investment whereby incoming firms can work with local suppliers or foster growth of new businesses locally which seek to fill identified gaps.

•DEVELOPMENT OF A FURNESS SUPPLIER GROUP OR GROUPS to facilitate flexible new ways for small groups of firms to address supply chain barriers, develop ways to provide innovative supply chain offers, or facilitate networking access to best practice. By enabling firms to network, form new connections and know who to talk with they can pave the way for bidding for and winning contracts;

BROKERING LINKS BETWEEN SUPPLIERS AND BUYERS so that meaningful relationships can be forged and businesses can be encouraged to develop supply chain partnerships. Also to enable project contract needs and innovation requirements to be better understood. We will provide this help on a 1-to-1 basis or through events seminars, workshops or small groups. Specific meet the specifier or meet the buyer opportunities also emerge from this work-stream;

DELIVERY OF SUPPLY CHAIN GROWTH BEST PRACTICE ASSISTANCE through conferences, workshops, seminars to help build capacity, these to include;
– bespoke workshops and events to de-mystify the tender process and brief firms on prequalifying requirements;
– supplier to supplier networking and help to build collaborative ventures were SMEs can pool their resources;
– facilitating access to finance such as Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s Growth Hub, Cumbria Growth Fund grants, innovation, export and other help including University expertise;

CAREER PATH AND NEW JOBS AWARENESS RAISING alerting residents to the opportunities these developments present for individuals to take up new career paths, jobs or apprenticeships; provision of information on skills demand and supply and access to resources of Furness College, Universities, private sector providers and bodies such as National Skills Academy Nuclear, Choose South Cumbria @_southcumbria.

APPRENTICESHIP BURSARIES – SUBSIDIES discretionary bursaries are available to assist sme owners (provided their firms are operating in supply chains) to take on new apprentices that become the supply chain workforce of the future. The offers range from £1,000 to £2,500 per apprentice and are available through an application process led by Furness College;

These services help companies to both address the most challenging barriers facing their organisations in developing a supply chain presence and deliver help to enable the businesses to position themselves to bid for and win new contract opportunities.

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Supply Chain Growth Support