Welcome to the Supply Chain Opportunity Club

A personal message from Suzanne Caldwell, Deputy Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the lead partner in Cumbria Business Growth Hub.


Welcome to the Supply Chain Opportunity Club.

It’s great to have you on board.

Cumbria Business Growth Hub set up the Club last year to help businesses like yours win work with large organisations, private and public sector.

Suzanne CaldwellFrankly, we were concerned that too many are missing out on valuable contracts potentially worth millions of pounds in total.

Sometimes smaller businesses are deterred from tendering for work with large organisations because they think they won’t succeed.

That’s nonsense. In fact, many large businesses are keen to engage local SME suppliers to meet their corporate social responsibility targets.

There can be technical obstacles. Often, smaller businesses don’t understand the tendering process or don’t have the right accreditations or perhaps the labelling on their products falls short of requirements.

We can help you overcome barriers like these. Our Growth Hub advisers have the expertise to guide you through the procurement maze and, thanks to ERDF funding, much of this support is free to eligible SMEs.

Take a look at the Supply Chain Gateway section on the Growth Hub website to find out more about how we can help you.

The Club held its first event with TSP Engineering in Workington in November. That is already bearing fruit.

John Coughlan, Chief Executive of TSP, tells me they’ve entered into an agreement with one of our members, UK Screening Solutions, who will support TSP’s occupational health requirements.

He says the event was an “effective and efficient way” to meet potential suppliers and expects further contracts to follow.

In this newsletter, you can read about recent Club events that enabled member businesses to meet buyers from the supermarket chain Booths and the housebuilder ENGIE, which is building across Cumbria.

And you can find out about forthcoming event with Pirelli in Carlisle.

There’s also a podcast on breaking into the nuclear industry and a webinar on winning public sector contracts.

I hope you find the newsletter useful.

We’d love to hear your feedback and your thoughts and ideas for future events. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards

Suzanne Caldwell

Deputy Chief Executive, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce

For more information contact Lesley Robinson at