BECBC schools project fully funded for 2018 and making a difference

Posted by Hazel Duhy on in Sector Group News, Socio Economic, Cluster News, Member News.

BECBC schools project fully funded for 2018 and making a difference

At the June Member Meeting of Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC), Phil Bennett of Wood plc and leader of the BECBC Socio Economic Sector Groupannounced a significant milestone for the Business and Schools Collaboration Project (BSCP).

“Not only are we seeing a diverse range of BECBC member companies getting into our schools through this project,” he said, “but we can also announce that we’ve successfully raised the £50k needed to finance the contract with Inspira for the first full year.  This collaborative fundraising is amazing to see and we’re really proud of bringing BECBC membership companies, large and small, together to achieve it. We owe a huge debt to everyone involved for sponsoring this, as well as the many companies who have engaged and gone into schools. The success is an indication of the commitment and support to improving educational outcomes in this region from everyone taking part.”

So far this year, the BSCP has seen 2281 local secondary students engaging with volunteers from 90 different businesses through events in 15 different secondary schools. The companies who have contributed to finance the project are Arco, Balfour Beatty, Camerton Consultants, Cavendish Nuclear, Costain, Esterline Darchem Engineering, Doosan, Hertel, Kaefer, Jacobs, Mace, Morgan Sindall, NNL, NIS, Nuvia, Responsive, RPS, Sellafield Ltd, Shepley Engineers, SNC-Lavelin/Atkins, Solomons Europe, Stainless Metalcraft, United Utilities and Wood.

Inspirawas contracted in January to deliver the Business and Schools Collaboration Project across Copeland and Allerdale on behalf of the Business Cluster and its membership, liaising with schools and coordinating the involvement of local businesses.  At the core of the Project is a calendar of events in schools that is promoted via the BECBC website and social media channels, making it easy for local companies to get involved.

Ian Russell is Vice Principal of the Energy Coast UTC at Lillyhall: "We value our partnership with BECBC and Inspira immensely and know that without their influence and input, our encounters with industry would not be deliverable or as effective as we know they are. We look forward to finding new ways to work with them both in the years ahead!”

“Members of the Socio Economic Sector Group of the Business Cluster have been investing tremendous energy and enthusiasm in the development of this Project,” says BECBC Board member, Dave Henderson of Shepley Engineers, “and it is excellent news that the crowdfunding approach has proved such a success and that schools are appreciating the approach.  Our aim now is to make the most of the various school events coming up in the rest of this academic year and to the end of 2018 while also planning the funding that will secure the Project to the end of 2020.”

Phil Bennett of Wood plc concluded: “This collaboration is all about developing our young people’s awareness and aspirations through encounters with enterprise.  Research, including the Gatsby benchmarks, and Government education policy show that these sorts of contacts and conversations make a huge difference to career prospects and ambitions.  We’ve some really good business stories to tell across Cumbria and amazing young people just waiting to be inspired. I’m particularly pleased with the range of schools now getting involved as we know that some of them are facing big challenges and we’re keen to support them as much as we can.”

Any company wishing to get involved or make a financial contribution to the project can find out more here. The project is open to member and non-member companies with an aim of involving as many Cumbrian employers as possible. 



  • Representatives of some of the many companies involved in crowdfunding the Business and School Collaboration Project gathered at the June member meeting of BECBC.
  • Credit: Colin Hillier, Sellafield Ltd
  • Two recent donations took the crowdfunding past its first £50k milestone – with thanks to Andrew Bradley and Paul Mileham of Esterline Darchem Engineering and Steve Platt and Stephen Buttriss of Stainless Metalcraft. L to R: Andrew Bradley, Steve Platt, Phil Bennett and Dave Henderson.
  • 24 companies have supported the Business and School Collaboration Project for 2017 through the BECBC crowdfunding appeal.