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Case Study: Dentonside Geotechnical Consultants Ltd

Dentonside Geotechnical Consultants Ltd is a small geotechnical engineering consultancy offering advice on ground investigation, foundation design, temporary works design, slope stability, retaining walls. Basically, anything to do with structures or infrastructure that come in contact with the ground, Simon Ferley is there to help.

Simon had been a geotechnical engineering specialist for nearly 40 years and has worked for a range of businesses including local authorities, councils and design consultancies.

He had thought about starting a business and summer of 2021 seemed to be the right time for him. The business started trading in September 2021.

Prior to lockdown, Simon attended a day-long business course with fellow Chartered Engineers. He said: “It whet my appetite for starting my own business. It was something that I thought ‘yes I could do that’.

“Before I started my own business, I wanted to know in more detail things like legal requirements, implications of limited company compared to a sole trader, tax implications and so on.”

Simon had been researching help for new businesses online and that’s how he found out about the huge range of support on offer through Cumbria Business Growth Hub. He said: “I was aware of the Growth Hub and it seemed like a sensible way to go. Looking at the support I thought ‘yes that looks like what I need’.”

Simon benefitted from support through the Business Start-Up Support scheme which offers free support and advice to those starting their own business, those becoming self-employed or those in the early years of trading. The package includes a 3-day course on starting a business, one-to-one meetings with a business adviser, further training and workshops and help with a business plan. Simon was allocated Growth Hub adviser, Paul Crooks from Crux Associates.

“I found the support very helpful. My adviser Paul was superb, each session was just the right length, with just the right information in it. He was full of advice and being a civil engineer himself, he understood where I was coming from and he knew the ins and outs of everything I needed.”

Simon attended the 3-day start-up workshop which covers general business support, finance and marketing. Simon said: “I found it very useful, I met lots of other people starting up different businesses and ideas and that helps you to feel part of a community.”

Plans for the future of Dentonside Geotechnical Consultants Ltd is to increase client base, and to streamline processes to improve the service.

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The funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Sellafield Ltd., Carlisle City Council, South Lakeland District Council, Penrith Industrial BID 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. The BSUS project is receiving up to £1,112,686 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing 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.