Sellafield supply chain showcase event supports economic growth, says MD of regeneration initiative

3rd August 2022

AN EVENT promoting collaboration between businesses in the Sellafield supply chain has been heralded by the managing director of an initiative created to grow jobs and regenerate communities as the ‘perfect way’ to achieve economic growth.

Independent firms which work with Sellafield were invited to the organisation’s Engineering Centre of Excellence Showcase Event at Leconfield Industrial Estate, in Cleator Moor, to encourage SMEs in the area to connect with each other with the potential to work together in the future.

The industrial estate is due to be part of a wider Industrial Solutions Hub (iSH) campus to promote collaboration between industry, SMEs, academia and other organisations, bringing a wide range of employment, skills and training opportunities to the town and helping to regenerate communities across West Cumbria.

Launched in March, iSH is an initiative led by Copeland Borough Council with the support of key stakeholders including Sellafield, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and private sector supply chain partners.

iSH Managing Director John Maddison attended the showcase event and said similar collaboration initiatives are key to help grow jobs and opportunities and make a positive difference to people’s lives across the community.

He said: “By launching iSH, we have big ambitions to regenerate communities in the local area, and we are investing in the area and the people with the aim of creating more than 700 jobs.

“Our whole ethos is around collaboration between industry, businesses, schools and other organisations to all pull together, support each other, throw work each other’s way and take the outstanding work which goes on in this area to a global audience.

“World class work is already carried out at Leconfield Industrial Estate on a daily basis, but it is our vision to refurbish and reinvigorate the area to make it a more appealing place for more businesses to come and set up.

“Events such as the Sellafield Showcase are the perfect way to encourage and support businesses working together, and introduce SMEs to business connections they may not have previously known existed.”

The Showcase Event was organised to allow companies which conduct work on behalf of Sellafield to connect with one another, and help build a business community built on collaboration.

Rexel Industrial Solutions, which has a base in Whitehaven’s Moresby Park, carries out electrical and instrumentation work at Sellafield, and was delighted to be given the opportunity to network with potential new partners.

John Franklin, the firm’s industrial sales engineer, said: “As a company, we provide a lot of solutions to Sellafield and within the team we have people we can call on to assist with expert technical input.

“As we are a large company, events like this allow us to show we have access to hundreds of companies that stand behind us so we can highlight that to Sellafield and open doors to other companies to join in the network. It lets businesses who could benefit from our services talk to engineers to explain how we can work together.”

Craig Branney, Sellafield’s Head of Off-Site Developments, said events like the showcase highlight how essential collaboration is in growing business.

He said Sellafield was in a privileged position to be working with so many talented SMEs and it was great to shine a light on the great work they carry out and share it with other businesses who could benefit from a more joined-up approach of working.

Craig said: “This is about us pulling everybody together and proving that by collaborating we can achieve amazing things.

“While the Engineering Centre of Excellence is a Sellafield facility, it is here for the benefit of the local community and we want more people to use it.

“Open days such as this are getting people together onsite and sharing some of Sellafield’s challenges with people within our supply chain who have the solutions.”