Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC) is the latest organisation to join the Northern Powerhouse as a Partner. The Business Cluster, which currently has over 340 member companies and organisations, brings together all tiers of the energy supply chain in Cumbria, encouraging collaboration among members and using its combined voice for global reach, socio economic improvements and business development.
“We share so many of our aims, objectives and priorities with the Northern Powerhouse that it makes absolute sense to extend our regional networking and get more involved as a Business Cluster,” says Ivan Baldwin, Chair and Board member of BECBC and VP for Government and International Business with the National Nuclear Laboratory. “An additional 10 Cumbrian businesses have joined the Partner programme this year and we’re alongside other BECBC members such as Sellafield Ltd, RSM and Recycling Lives in becoming a Partner, increasing Cumbria’s voice in the Northern Powerhouse.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: “I’m really pleased to welcome Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster to the Northern Powerhouse Partners Programme. Its commitment to supporting the economic growth of Cumbria by helping its members to collaborate and create opportunities to grow and sustain their businesses means we are in a great place to work together to build a more prosperous Northern Powerhouse for all.”
BECBC is joining the Northern Powerhouse in Green GB Week, a national initiative to promote the contribution and potential of clean growth and green business for the country’s industrial strategy.
“Today (Thursday 18 October) is all about clean growth as a business opportunity,” says John Berry of Sellafield Ltd and also a Board member of BECBC, “and our members are inextricably involved in this, from decommissioning and waste management innovations in the nuclear sector through to green technologies and low carbon energy infrastructure for the renewables market. We’re celebrating the latest developments and showcasing the range of job opportunities and the potential of Cumbria and the rest of northern England to make green change happen.”
Three of the Northern Powerhouse’s priority areas are crucial business themes for BECBC members – Energy, Advanced Manufacturing and the Digital economy – and the Business Cluster is also very active in promoting the north as a place to work, study, live and invest.
“Like much of the UK, Cumbria faces skills shortages and plenty of other challenges,” says Ivan, “and we’re playing our part in promoting the region and attracting graduates and other young people to Cumbria. The Business Cluster is creating opportunities for younger professionals to network and get involved in Cumbrian business life and we are also working together with Inspira and local secondary schools on the Business and Schools Collaboration Project to create meaningful “encounters with enterprise” for students. As a Business Cluster, we’re looking forward to strengthening links across the north of England, contributing to the Partnership’s Educating the North initiative and developing the improvements in our quality of life and economy that we all want to see.”
The next regular monthly BECBC members’ meeting will be held at Energus on Wednesday 14 November and will be led by the Shadow Board of BECBC (all aged 18-30). Further information on membership of BECBC and details of member companies, specialist sector groups and other events and activities can be found online.
Photo: Westlakes Science and Technology Park near Whitehaven is operated by BEC. It is home to a range of companies, many of them BECBC members andbenefiting from renewable energy and innovative infrastructure investments.