Building Supply Chain Skills Capacity

Norfolk County Council and partners, Norfolk Chambers and the Growth Hub, are working with the Swedish energy group, Vattenfall to encourage local Norfolk businesses to engage with and bid for contracts associated with big infrastructure and other complex projects. 

Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm projects aim to supply 10% of the UK’s domestic electricity needs and represent potentially multibillion pound investments into the East of England over their thirty year operational lifespan. The range of goods and services required to build and operate the projects successfully is huge, from onshore surveying and preconstruction preparation, to cable joining to hospitality services, to fabrication, to marine logistics.   

The onshore work for Norfolk Vanguard is likely to be out for tender in early 2021 and Norfolk Council and its partners are developing a programme of assistance to encourage a wider range of local companies to understand, prepare, engage and ultimately successfully bid for elements of the work planned. 

Rob Lilly, Procurement & Supply Chain Manager for Vattenfall said:  

“Over 70% of companies wanting to supply to the renewable energy sector, listed the ability to engage with the developer, as an area they needed support with.  This is a great opportunity to meet the people behind the project, who can give you a great insight into what Vattenfall are looking for from our suppliers. Sustainability is something we consider and local companies, being part of a local supply chain make perfect sense.” 

This programme will create a model, which will assist in the development of small to medium size companies (SMEs) in our region, to enable them to take advantage of major contracts as they appear, not just the current windfarm projects.  Vattenfall, as a key partner of this project, are committed to helping with this development process as much as they can. 

Vattenfall have already held two major supply chain events in Norfolk to start the conversation with Norfolk SME’s.  Over the next 6 months, the partners are planning a series of smaller events/workshops in co-operation with Vattenfall, to raise awareness, increase business readiness and address supply chain and business development. 

Norfolk County Council and partners are inviting Norfolk SME’s to grasp this opportunity by making themselves aware of the opportunities available, reviewing their capabilities and capacity and planning their development to be able to bid for and win major contract work such as this. 

Commenting on the upcoming workshops, Tom Humphries, Skills Policy Manager for Norfolk County Council said:

“Many SMEs don’t recognise that they have the skills or capabilities to enter the supply chains of larger projects or infrastructure developments. In partnership with Vattenfall and the Norfolk Chambers, Norfolk County Council look forward to working with interested small businesses to identify and support these skills and to take advantage of future contract opportunities.” 

Asked why local businesses should consider attending the free supply chain workshops, Nova Fairbank, Head of Policy for Norfolk Chambers of Commerce said:

“Many local SMEs do not realise that they have the capability to be part of a large scale supply chain. Our workshops are designed to highlight what they do need to be involved and will also help identify any areas that the SME may need to adapt/upgrade to be able to compete.  We will also be looking to see how we can support those businesses to gear up to be ready.  Whether that is help with upskilling, access to finance for new equipment or support for their management teams.” 

The first events are planned for Dereham on 02 July and North Walsham on 03 July and will focus on business awareness in relation to the opportunities presented by the Vattenfall windfarms.  

To find out more and book your place, please click on the below links: 

Dereham – 02 July 2019

North Walsham – 03 Jul 2019   

Following the workshops will be an opportunity to talk directly to the UK Supply Chain Manager – please register your interest to be allocated a slot by emailing:

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