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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Local firm wins £58m contract

A WEST Cumbrian firm which started from small beginnings is celebrating a £58million contract to do more work at Sellafield.

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success: Managing director John Stobbart

Stobbarts Ltd fought off international competition to clinch the massive deal. It starts in April and lasts for four years.

Sellafield Ltd has awarded the contract for Stobbarts to deliver site-wide asset care services.

And it has also been revealed that Sellafield Ltd will be spending more than £1 billion with West Cumbrian businesses over the next five years.

“When we heard we’d won our contract I just felt elated,” said managing director John Stobbart.

“Our business started from next to nothing – getting this contract with Sellafield is a success story for Cumbria.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to continue to grow by working collaboratively with Sellafield Ltd and providing a first-class service in what is a highly complex and varied contract.”

Keith Case, commercial director for Sellafield Ltd, said: “This is proof positive that there are opportunities for West Cumbrian companies who deliver to win work with us. For me personally it’s extremely encouraging to see a contract of this nature awarded to a local company and shows the experience and competitiveness present in our local supply chain.

“This is a great result for Sellafield Ltd, Stobbarts and West Cumbria. Our relationship with Stobbarts has matured over recent years and they’ve grown as an organisation.”

Sellafield Ltd said the firm, which already has Sellafield work under an old agreement, beat off competition from a host of multi-national companies. The contract draws together a range of services including civil engineering, mechanical and design, plant and lifting equipment hire along with provision of mobile crane and rigging.

Says Mr Stobbart: “We first started working on the Sellafield site around 15 years ago and the growth in the size of the company since then has been tremendous. I’d like to think we’re an advert for other businesses in West Cumbria to see that you can be successful and that you can grow to meet the demands of the industry.”

Stobbarts employs 250 people, covering existing Sellafield work and other Cumbrian contracts.

Mr Stobbart added: “It is our best and biggest contract yet and secures employment of our workforce at Sellafield. To win such a massive contract shows great faith in Stobbarts especially to win in the face of competition not only in this country but internationally.”

Part of the winning bid includes a commitment to recruit more apprentices which will help Stobbarts future growth. The firm plans to increase its apprentice intake to between six and eight new apprentices a year from the present four to six.

“Back in 1987 I started the business on my own with just a handful of lads working for me. I’ve been very lucky with the people I’ve employed and am pleased to say some of my original workers are still with me today.

“We have built up a stable workforce over the years. It is through them that we generate our success and together we look forward to the future with great optimism. Securing this contract not only safeguards our existing workforce but enables us to provide further apprenticeships.

“I am a firm believer that young people from West Cumbria must be given opportunities for apprentice training in construction at Sellafield. I am delighted to say that we pledge to play a major role in the development of a locally based workforce.”

For the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Mark Steele, interim head of programme for Sellafield, said: “The fact that a West Cumbrian company has won this contract is testament to the skills that exist in the Sellafield supply chain.”

Meanwhile, a new Britain’s Energy Coast commissioned study shows that Sellafield Ltd spent £905 million on contracts with supply chain businesses in 2011 – £246 million more than in 2008.

But the study also reveals that “a very high proportion of total supply chain spend is accounted for by large enterprises with head offices outside West Cumbria – firms which collectively received payments of around £601 million during 2010-11.

“Award of contracts to SMEs and large local firms in West Cumbria may be of major significance to these firms but they represent a comparatively small proportion of total supply chain spend.”

Tom Gilroy, BEC chief executive, said: “We are pleased to see local retention of supply chain expenditure has increased, our focus is very much on the future. BEC’s role will be to measure the performance of alliances in the long term and work with both alliances and local companies to maximise and increase the amount of business that flows into the local supply chain.

“The study has helped to inform the West Cumbria Economic Blueprint, due to be published soon and will help BEC to adapt the services it provides to the local supply chain to ensure West Cumbrian companies continue to secure work with Sellafield over the coming years.”

Yesterday a spokesman for Sellafield Ltd said the company would be spending over £1 billion pounds within the local supply chain over the next five years. This commitment is given in the new Sellafield Plan.

Nuclear Management Partners general manager, Graham Campbell, said: “We are pleased to note both a £102.6 million increase in the amount of local spend (due to increased spent in the supply chain by the company) since the last survey and that the percentage level of spend in West Cumbria has also increased.

“This performance will directly benefit both residents and businesses of West Cumbria. NMP and Sellafield Ltd are committed to continue this growth trend in the future.”

Have your say

Let the softening up process begin.

Posted by Observer on 7 March 2012 at 23:36

Congratulations to Stobbarts,nice to see local firms getting contracts.It is also great that he is going to train up apprentices in the construction industry, i just hope there is a job for them after they finish their apprenticeship.
My son loved working for them served his apprenticeship but got laid off 2 months later and has struggled to find work since

Posted by ian on 6 March 2012 at 11:12

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