Efforts are underway to help more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cumbria to win work in the nuclear sector.
Almost 50 businesses attended an ‘SME awareness day’ in Workington last week to hear about the opportunities available.
The event was organised by Cumbria Business Growth Hub, the construction and infrastructure firm Morgan Sindall and the Supply Chain Sustainability School.
It was aimed at SMEs that want to work in nuclear and those that already do but want to diversify and secure new contracts.
Eva Foran, Supply Chain Development Manager at the Growth Hub, said: “Having such a strong nuclear sector in Cumbria presents great opportunities for local businesses.
“We want to see more Cumbrian SMEs seize those opportunities. Sometimes, they perceive that winning work is problematic, that there are too many barriers to entry.
“Our awareness day was about debunking that myth and setting out some of the opportunities and the help available to businesses that want to target the nuclear sector.”
Morgan Sindall is a major contractor at Sellafield and at BAE Systems in Barrow.
It is looking to use Cumbrian SMEs as sub-contractors in areas such as design, construction, civil and mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, fabrication, testing, instrumentation, commissioning and professional services.
Steve Dixon, Senior Supply Chain Manager for Nuclear at Morgan Sindall, said: “It was fantastic to see so many local SMEs attend the awareness day.
“Initial feedback was very positive. I hope they follow-up on the free resources offered to them.
“It was great to see everybody networking and sharing the opportunities we have within the nuclear sector.”
The Supply Chain Sustainability School is a construction industry initiative to help suppliers and contractors become more sustainable, offering free training and advice.
Representing the School, Mark Turner, of Action Sustainability, said: “The event was a really positive contribution to the shared objective of getting more SMEs involved in an exciting pipeline of work. We look forward to help making this happen.”
Businesses looking to explore opportunities in nuclear can find out more here.
They can also listen to podcast, recorded at the awareness day, here.
And they can sign-up here for a free ‘Fit to Tender’ workshop in Penrith on July 20.