Tender Opportunity: Business Advice Services

The application process is now closed

This invitation is issued by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce/Cumbria Business Growth Hub. It covers business advice for the following initiatives delivered within its Cumbria Business Growth Hub umbrella:

  • ERDF Growth Hub project (excluding supply chain)
  • Local authority support to non ERDF eligible businesses (excluding supply chain)
  • ERDF BSUS Business Start-Up Support project
  • New Enterprise Allowance
  • Other potential business support projects/initiatives

Apply NowWe are looking to renew our pool of experienced business advisers (individual advisers and/or specified individuals within an organisation), both generalist and specialist, to carry out business reviews/training needs analyses, develop action plans and deliver advice and coaching to businesses (primarily small and medium sized businesses [SMEs]) and/or potential start-ups in Cumbria.

This will be a flexible pool of contracted advisers, drawn on as needed depending on factors such as levels of demand, client needs and preferences, experience and specialisms.

The pools may also be used for other similar business support projects.

Note that this tender is to replace the existing pool for the relevant projects.

Advisers already contracted must reapply if they wish to continue to work on these projects and/or to work on future projects in the next four years.

Tender Documentation

Invitation to Tender GH BSUS July 2018

Schedule A Certificate of Non Collusion July 2018

Schedule B Form of Tender July 2018

Schedule C Commercially Sensitive Information July 2018

Schedule D Undertaking July 2018

Schedule E PQQ July 2018 v3 (Important note to all bidders: the PQQ has been amended slightly since the opportunity was initially published and the correct version is v3.)

Schedule F Adviser Tender Tables A/B July 2018

Schedule G Sample Contract July 2018

Schedule H Award Criteria Business Advisers July 2018


The current ERDF/BSUS project runs until March 2019, with an anticipated three year follow on project potentially starting 1st April 2019.

The current ERDF Growth Hub project runs until December 2018, with an anticipated three year follow on project potentially starting 1st January 2019.

The current New Enterprise Allowance project is open to new referrals until at least March 2019.

Other projects are subject to varying arrangements with funders, with local authority contracts generally operating on an annual basis.

This pool will be in operation for up to four years.

It is intended that contracts will start from 3rd September 2018.

Note that there will be no commitment to a particular number of hours under the contracts, either in total or in any given period.

Instructions for submission

Submissions must be submitted by post or email to Richard Condron, Finance & HR Manager, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Broadacre House, 16-20 Lowther Street, Carlisle, CA3 8DA, richardc@cumbriachamber.co.uk by no later than 12 noon on 20th August 2018.

Any tender received after the deadline will not be opened or considered.

Questions & Answers

These are clarification questions that we have received and they will be updated and published on the Chamber website page, the Growth Hub website page and the Contracts Finder listing.

Q1: Is this a paid position?

A: Yes, details are in the sample contract provided.

Q2: Looking at the PQQ, are we to attempt to “provide a brief description of the contract delivered including evidence as to your technical capability in this market” in the space provided or is it enough to supply the information in my separate tender document?

A: You can provide this information in a separate annex. This must be clearly marked as to what question it relates to and you must stick to the word limits.

Q3: Are the rates of pay the same as the current contracts or they likely to be increased to reflect increases in costs such as fuel and inflation?

A: The rates of pay are available in the sample contract provided.

Q4: I have completed the government supplier registrations in their website and shared it with yourselves. Is this all I need to do to register my interest to become a provider to you?
I am interest in doing Data Protection and GDPR training and workshops.

A: Government supplier registrations are not relevant for this tender. If you would like to submit a tender application then please complete all tender documents on our website and return to us within the required timescale.

Q5I appreciate that the questions do at least in some part lend themselves to larger organisations submissions. I am operating as a sole trader and there is just myself who will be working with you. In this event some of the questions are not as relevant…………… would this be the correct presumption?

A: All requirements and questions must be answered fully. If some aspects of the tender documents are not as relevant as others then a clear explanation should be made to highlight that fact.

With regards to audited accounts, the PQQ gives a number of different options of information to provide to satisfy section 4.1

Q6: Do I need to have a registered company to be eligible? I have been employed, working within a variety of companies, but over the last 12 months, having completed an Executive MBA with the University of Leeds I have sought consultancy work in  self employed capacity, supporting SMEs. Would I be eligible having not yet set up a formal company?

A: You do not have to be a registered company to apply for the project.

Q7: I am just completing my first year in my own business … so have no audited accounts as such but will be able to send you a copy of turnover for the year and a bank statement if that helps?  Would this suffice or would you require further evidence?

A: If you do not have audited accounts to submit, then the PQQ gives a number of different options of information to provide to satisfy section 4.1 of the PQQ.

[Last updated 08/08/2018]

Important note re process

The Chamber is not a contracting authority. This procurement is accordingly not subject to the requirements of EU public procurement law or the EU Treaty Principles relevant to public procurement, and, to the extent that any aspect of this procurement process which might bear any resemblance to a public procurement process, any such resemblance does not amount to a commitment to be bound by EU public procurement law and does not signify that such law applies.

Project Funding

The current BSUS and Growth Hub ERDF projects are supported by the Chamber, Lancaster University, University of Cumbria, Barrow Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
For more information visit http://www.communities.gov.uk/erdf. It is anticipated that any follow on projects will be similarly funded.

The New Enterprise Allowance initiative is matched with the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Funding arrangements vary for other projects.

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce