Dozens of businesses are looking forward to a long and productive relationship with the £200m-a-year turnover Eric Wright Group, following a meet the buyer event in Carlisle.
The session at the Hallmark Hotel was hosted by Eric Wright Group in partnership with the Chamber’s Cumbria Business Growth Hub.
More than 100 people attended from 76 businesses.
They met representatives from Eric Wright Group’s facilities management, construction and civil engineering divisions.
Growth Hub advisers Paul Graham and Kevin Thistlethwaite were on hand to offer advice on meeting accreditations and procurement criteria.
Catherynn Dunstan, the Chamber’s Business Solutions Manager, said: “It was one of the best turnouts I’ve ever seen for a meet the buyer event – and I’ve been to quite a few.
“I think the interest reflects the wide range of opportunities available following Eric Wright Group’s success in winning work in Cumbria.”
Eric Wright Group is based in the North West and has expertise in civil engineering, construction, residential, facilities management and property management.
The company designed and built Cumbria County Council’s new £10.4m HQ in Carlisle, which was completed in 2016, and just prior to that a £3.7m arts and media building at Carlisle College.
It has since secured contracts to deliver planned and reactive maintenance at emergency services properties across Cumbria, and to build two care homes in Carlisle and Copeland. The care homes contract alone is worth £10m.
The business is also delivering bridge and carriageway projects including the ongoing infrastructure recovery programme following the 2015 floods.
And it is due to start on site in May on Queen Elizabeth Studio School in Kirkby Lonsdale – a £4.5m project to build a new school offering high quality professional, technical and vocational courses.
With so much work in the pipeline, many of the businesses attending the meet the buyer event are hopeful of securing contracts.
They include Phil Turnbull, Managing Director of Design Grid in Whitehaven, a specialist in suspended ceilings, partitions, dry lining and plastering.
He said: “It was very beneficial. I met their contracts co-ordinator and they’re setting up a meeting over the next couple of weeks to discuss the opportunities. We will be looking to bid when the tenders come out.”
And Neil Brooks, Regional Manager for Cumbria for Approved Inspectors, a firm of chartered building control surveyors, said: “I found it valuable. We hope that it will open doors for us.
“Eric Wright Group deliver design and build contracts and they benefit from talking to building control professional at the design stage.
“We are particularly interested in the new school at Kirkby Lonsdale.”
Diane Bourne, Managing Director of Eric Wright Civil Engineering, and Group Technical Director, described the event as a “great success”.
She added: “We are very committed to working in Cumbria and ensuring that we have the opportunity to work closely with the local supply chain and supporting the local community.”
Cumbria Business Growth Hub facilitated the event as part of our Supply Chain Gateway initiative, which helps SMEs to win work with large private-sector and public-sector organisations.
We can, for example, help businesses attain accreditations that may be necessary, and to write proposals that meet the procurement criteria.
And we offer courses to help win business, such as writing winning proposals, writing to sell, winning public sector contracts, and presentation skills.
The Supply Chain section of the Cumbria Business Growth Hub website has a wealth of useful information too.
You can download webinars on supplying the nuclear sector, food businesses, manufacturing businesses and the public sector.
And there is specific information about the procurement criteria of some of Cumbria’s largest businesses such as BAE Systems, Booths, the Box Encapsulation Plant (BEP) Project at Sellafield, Innovia Films, Morgan Sindall and Pirelli, and on supplying the Ministry of Defence.
Eric Wright Group is looking for businesses that can provide any of the following:
FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: Roof repairs, joinery, electrical, mechanical, plastering & decorating, ground works and general building.
CONSTRUCTION: Pitch and flat roof constructions, joinery, render, plastering, screeding, painting, IPS units, soft flooring, soft landscape and fencing.
CIVIL ENGINEERING: Tree clearance and de-vegetation, stonework, underwater divers, surfacing, scaffolding, ecologist, designers, traffic management, plant hire, geotechnics, sheet piling, recruitment consultants, piling, design services, steel, pumping, aerial photography and muck shift.
To find out more about these opportunities, call Cumbria Business Growth Hub on 0844 257 84 50 or email our Supply Chain Manager, Eva Chua, at email@example.com
You can join the Supply Chain Opportunity Club here.
The funding that supports the Growth Hub this comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Allerdale Borough Council (Sellafield Ltd’s Allerdale SIIF, distributed by Allerdale Borough Council), Barrow Borough Council (FEDF Coastal Communities Fund Supply Chain Initiative, the Coastal Communities Fund is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estates marine assets; it is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of UK Government), Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria LEP.
The Growth Hub is receiving up to £2,528,767 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Likewise, BSUS is receiving up to £1,112,686 of funding, Cumbria Forum project is receiving £446,000 of funding, and the Subsidy Scheme £2,528,767.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information click here.