Sellafield positive action for SMEs

Sellafield 200Making the most of the skills, diversity and innovation offered by small businesses will be the main topic at a Sellafield Ltd summit to be held this week.

A host of businesses and high profile site representatives will gather at the company’s first ever ‘Tier 2/SME Supply Chain Summit’ event at the Rheged, near Penrith on 19th February, aimed at building a vibrant supply chain community in Cumbria.

The event has been given the theme ‘spending more effectively for growth’ and will allow the company to spend time with the site’s larger contractors — known as ‘Tier 2s’ — to see how best they can work together to provide opportunities for smaller businesses.

The term ‘Tier 2’ is given to those who have a direct contract with a company, and the ability to sub-contract work to smaller businesses, known as Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).This event has been developed to enable Sellafield Ltd to strengthen relationships and collaborative working with their ‘Tier 2’ companies, which it is hoped will in turn improve relationships between the Tier 2s and local SMEs.

George Beveridge, Deputy Managing Director of Sellafield Ltd, will open the event. He said: “This event will provide us at Sellafield Ltd with a valuable opportunity to spend time with our Tier 2 community and discuss how we can better exploit the unprecedented opportunities opening up as a result of growth in the nuclear sector.

“Collectively, larger companies, and I include Sellafield Ltd in that, have an important role to play in the development of a vibrant supply chain. We have made progress but there is still work to do and our belief if that this summit will prove to be an important step forward.

“Cumbria is a centre for excellence for nuclear and we have a responsibility to help ensure that there is a healthy mix of SMEs who can both support the Sellafield decommissioning challenge and potentially grow into wider, non-nuclear sectors.”

Sellafield Ltd, a Nuclear Management Partners company, spend around £1billion every year within the supply chain. The summit will mark the next phase in the company’s commitment to increase the proportion of work at the site which is carried out by SMEs. It is recognised that increasing the work available to SMEs can, directly and indirectly, stimulate growth in local long-term skills and services while reducing the high hazards posed by Sellafield’s historic facilities and wastes.

George added: “The Sellafield site is entering an exciting phase which will see it become one of the largest construction sites in Europe. We have a work plan here in Cumbria for the next 100 years and are creating an environment in which SMEs can flourish. The support and involvement of our Tier 2 suppliers in business growth both at a local, regional and national level is key to our success.

“We recognise the skills, diversity and innovation that Cumbrian SMEs can offer to both Sellafield Ltd and our Tier 2 partners. They have a tremendous potential to add value to our mission and we are determined to see that potential realised at all levels in the supply chain.

“This summit is an important step in our efforts to ensure SMEs are at the forefront of commercial thinking and any actions we take away from it will aim to contribute to sustainable economic growth. I look forward to seeing how it can help generate tangible benefits for the Cumbrian economy.”

Last year saw Sellafield Ltd take an important step in its plan to expose local SMEs to the global market, with the signing of an historic cooperation agreement with the TEPCO FDEC, the company responsible for decontaminating the Fukushima plant devastated by a tsunami in 2011

This formal arrangement will give TEPCO access to the skills available from SMEs engaged in the Sellafield Ltd supply chain and provide access for the UK to advancements made at Fukushima over the coming years.

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