Welcome To Furness Economic Development Forum

The Furness Economic Development Forum (FEDF) operates from Emlyn Hughes House, Abbey Road, Barrow in Furness, LA14 5PQ. You can contact us by telephone at 01229 314 100 or by email stuart@fedf.co.uk or twitter@fedf.co.uk.

FEDF’s flagship scheme to strengthen supply chains and transform skills is funded by Coastal Communities Fund via direct grant from DCLG to Barrow Borough Council. Through the Fund businesses and individuals are offered support through work-streams which include:

CONTRACT PIPELINES AWARENESS RAISING enabling your businesses to easily access information on active and upcoming pipeline of contracts,the packages of work involved and minimum requirements for pre-qualification to tender for work.
FEDF’s unique guide to “opening doors to major projects” introduces you to planned and current investments in SW Cumbria in new life sciences, defence, subsea electronics, energy, road power, transport and rail developments, new manufacturing activity or public sector schools, health care and business park development that offer supplier opportunities.
The aim is to inform company owners, procurement and marketing teams of the huge amount of new investment and to facilitate access to key contacts within the organisations proposing developments, their main contractors or suppliers.
We can also help companies access local and national supplier opportunities on projects such as Hinkley C power station(HS2) and other schemes in either the private sector, local authority Utilities, NHS capital programmes or the National Infrastructure Programme. This information is offered on a 1-to-1 basis and through targeted events, web or app services.

INTENSIVE ONE-TO-ONE SUPPORT to help firms with assistance which can include for example identification of who to contact in large companies, understanding and developing accreditations or pre-qualification registrations, access to finance grants, finding sites for suppliers or skills or developing systems and processes to become fit to bid for and win contracts. Expert advisers can be provided to help businesses develop responses to contracts’ requirements and understand accreditation needs, pre-qualification requirements and put in place processes, procedures, capacity and capability to then go on to bid for contracts. Where required training and advice can be offered through the scheme to address these factors;

CAPABILITIES GUIDE DEVELOPMENT informs large companies about capacity and capabilities in the coastal area’s business base and enable sme sized companies to explore collaborative ventures by understanding what is on offer in other businesses. This information is available on a 1-to-1 basis.

GAP ANALYSIS OF SUPPLY CHAIN CAPABILITY identifies opportunities for companies to exploit gaps with new market offerings. It also helps to attract inward investment whereby incoming firms can work with local suppliers or foster growth of new businesses locally which seek to fill identified gaps.

•DEVELOPMENT OF A FURNESS SUPPLIER GROUP OR GROUPS to facilitate flexible new ways for small groups of firms to address supply chain barriers, develop ways to provide innovative supply chain offers, or facilitate networking access to best practice. By enabling firms to network, form new connections and know who to talk with they can pave the way for bidding for and winning contracts;

BROKERING LINKS BETWEEN SUPPLIERS AND BUYERS so that meaningful relationships can be forged and businesses can be encouraged to develop supply chain partnerships. Also to enable project contract needs and innovation requirements to be better understood. We will provide this help on a 1-to-1 basis or through events seminars, workshops or small groups. Specific meet the specifier or meet the buyer opportunities also emerge from this work-stream;

DELIVERY OF SUPPLY CHAIN GROWTH BEST PRACTICE ASSISTANCE through conferences, workshops, seminars to help build capacity, these to include;
– bespoke workshops and events to de-mystify the tender process and brief firms on prequalifying requirements;
– supplier to supplier networking and help to build collaborative ventures were SMEs can pool their resources;
– facilitating access to finance such as Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s Growth Hub, Cumbria Growth Fund grants, innovation, export and other help including University expertise;

CAREER PATH AND NEW JOBS AWARENESS RAISING alerting residents to the opportunities these developments present for individuals to take up new career paths, jobs or apprenticeships; provision of information on skills demand and supply and access to resources of Furness College, Universities, private sector providers and bodies such as National Skills Academy Nuclear, Choose South Cumbria @_southcumbria.

APPRENTICESHIP BURSARIES – SUBSIDIES discretionary bursaries are available to assist sme owners (provided their firms are operating in supply chains) to take on new apprentices that become the supply chain workforce of the future. The offers range from £1,000 to £2,500 per apprentice and are available through an application process led by Furness College;

These services help companies to both address the most challenging barriers facing their organisations in developing a supply chain presence and deliver help to enable the businesses to position themselves to bid for and win new contract opportunities.

FEDF works closely with Cumbria Growth Hub to ensure companies can potentially access its discretionary funds and advice. Currently its main contact we are using is Adrian Luckham. Cumbria Chamber of Commerce also assists especially through its new business start-up scheme and UKTI export support. Cumbria LEP Growth Deal Funding is supporting other measures that businesses can call on to add value to this group of assistance measures.

You can find out more about by contacting either stuart@fedf.co.uk or mike@fedf.co.uk, tel: 01229314100.
You can also visit us at:
The Supply Chain Growth CentreTM,
Emlyn Hughes House,
Abbey Road,
Barrow in Furness,

More about Furness Economic Development Forum

FEDF is a public, private sector partnership chaired by Jackie Arnold MBE. Its current membership is as follows:
BAE Systems Maritime Submarines
Barrow Borough Council
Cumbria Chamber of Commerce
Cumbria County Council
Cumbria Tourist Board
Dong Energy
Furness College
Holker Estates
John Woodcock MP for Barrow and Furness
NHS Clinical Commissioning Group
South Lakeland District Council

FEDF’s objective is to support the economic growth of the Furness area (defined as the area within the Barrow and Furness Parliamentary Constituency boundary) and its companies through leadership, direct provision of services by partner organisations, by influencing others and coordinating.

FEDF evolved from an initiative led by John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, whose report A National Cradle for Advanced Manufacturing – Towards a new economic vision for Furness’ ,June 2012,updated in June 2013 provided a framework for preparation of the current FEDF Delivery Plan which was formally launched on 5th December 2014.

The Delivery Plan is a rolling forward list of priorities which has widespread buy-in across the business, local government, voluntary and health sectors. (See www.fedf.co.uk or Twitter @fedfsupplychain). Its focus is on four economic drivers:
– skills for the future;
– business support, especially supply chain strengthening and growth, and Growth Hub support;
– infrastructure modernisation including business park development;
– environmental enhancement.

FEDF” works closely with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to contribute to delivery of its strategy, facilitate economic growth through the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan , the LEP Skills Plan, its Infrastructure Plan and the Government’s Growth Deal for Cumbria.

Today's News

Supply Chain Growth Support