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.
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. These are 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 pre qualifying 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.