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Jobs to be created as development at airport enterprise zone takes off
August 05, 2020

Thirty jobs are expected to be created after negotiations were completed on a 40,000 sq ft development in Blackpool Airport’s enterprise zone. Multi-Ply Components will combine its three sites in Inskip and Great Eccleston into a purpose-built headquarters. The manufacturer will bring together its 69 staff, and initially boost its workforce to 85 people with ambitions of growing that to more than 100. Planning was originally approved last October with Blackpool Council and Multi-Ply then working on detailed designs before agreeing a 25-year lease. The site also has land available for future expansion. Peter Bourne, co-owner of Multi-Ply, said: “The new premises will enable us to expand and continue to grow our business which involves supplying key components to the medical imaging market worldwide. “It was important that we remained on the Fylde Coast as we wanted to provide stability for our staff. The opportunity to build a bespoke unit at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone has enabled us to do that.” The Enterprise Zone is a 144-hectare site that includes the airport, retail park and business park. Businesses in the enterprise zone benefit from business rates relief or enhanced capital allowances if they design and build their own building. Blackpool Council has committed £28.8m to providing essential infrastructure at the site to encourage development in the enterprise zone. It is able to keep all business rates revenue from the enterprise zone’s 25-year lifespan. Cllr Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for business, added: “This flagship development will be the first bespoke build on Phase One development land at the eastern gateway of the site, earmarking a significant move forward with the regeneration plans, bringing valuable skilled employment opportunities to the area and providing a catalyst for future private sector development and investment over the next few years.” Steve Fogg, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, which contributed £0.8m through Growth Deal funding said: “It is great news that Blackpool Council’s executive has given the go-ahead for this scheme. “The development will contribute to the continuing transformation of Blackpool and has the potential to create a number of new jobs for the area. “Locating to these new premises will allow Multi-ply Components to invest in research and development into new product lines which I hope will enable the company to grow from strength to strength and continue to increase its workforce. This is welcome news for both the local and wider economies.”

Shipbuilder expands its annual apprenticeship scheme
August 05, 2020

Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird will increase its apprenticeship intake for 2020, it said today. Its next intake will enable 25 people to forge a career at the shipyard and marine engineering services company. The yard took on 20 apprentices last year. In spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Laird said it remains committed to growing its apprenticeship programme. Over the past 12 years Laird has recruited almost 300 apprentices across a broad range of roles. Its apprenticeship programme is one of the biggest in the UK maritime industry, representing an investment of more than £19m to date. More than 700 applications have been submitted for the 2020 programme, which will offer apprenticeships in welding, mechanics, pipefitting and plating. Successful 2020 applicants will be given the opportunity to work on a wide variety of ships and vessels and to be part of unique, high-profile projects, gaining invaluable maritime experience. Recent apprentice cohorts, for example, have been involved with the RRS David Attenborough project, helping to develop one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. During the four-year apprenticeship training programme, Cammell Laird supports its new team members to acquire high-level technical skills, strong problem-solving competencies and a flair for innovation. The apprenticeships are delivered in conjunction with The Engineering College, the most successful and wide-ranging provider of engineering apprenticeships and related training in Merseyside. David McGinley, chief executive of Cammell Laird Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders and Atlantic & Peninsula Marine Services, said: “We are determined to provide career opportunities to an increased number of people from the local area and our apprenticeship programme allows us to do this. “We are able to provide world-leading maritime experience on projects that you wouldn’t find anywhere else and we are proud of this, along with our commitment to helping plug the engineering skills gap in the North West and supporting the local economy through job creation.“Cammell Laird has both a rich history and an exciting future, and our apprentices play an essential role in helping to protect our heritage and forge our ongoing success. “We very much look forward to welcoming our 2020 apprentices on board.” The new intake will commence their apprenticeships in November.

Family firm reverts back to its roots to meet new demand
May 13, 2020

A family-run food service business which originated as a milk round has returned to its roots. Bury-based Dunster’s Farm has transformed into a food-to-door delivery service in just two weeks following the Government’s order to lock down. The firm was able to speedily flip with the help of an eCommerce consultancy and web designer to boost its online appeal to customers. Dunster’s Farm has been trading since 1963 as an independent supplier of chilled and ambient foods. It originated as a food-to-door delivery service in the form of the current directors’ granddad’s milk round, before moving into the business-to-business space. For almost 60 years the £10m-turnover company has supplied a wide range of businesses including hotels and restaurants, catering and hospitality businesses, schools, colleges and hospitals – but when the Government announced many of its customers needed to shut their doors, the business quickly changed tack. Three generations later, it has now returned to its humble origins, completely overhauling its business to meet consumer demand for food during the lockdown. Bosses turned to Manchester-based full-service eCommerce consultancy, PushON, to work out how to make their services available to members of the public in the North of England who were social distancing and struggling to get hold of food and drink essentials. The business’s web and creative agency, A Story Called, also developed a new eCommerce website enabling customers to place orders for products and arrange deliveries to their homes. Now, just a couple of weeks in, the business is receiving hundreds of orders per day for delivery across Greater Manchester, or for collection from the firm’s Bury warehouse. Hannah Barlow, Dunster’s Farm joint managing director, said: “We had been considering launching an online service to take household orders for a while now – this line of work is in the business’s DNA after all, with my grandfather having started it as a milk round. “When the crisis hit and we saw how much trouble people were having getting hold of the essentials they needed without compromising their health, we knew it was time.” She added: “We’ve worked hard to get this service up and running as quickly as possible and it is paying dividends – the feedback we are receiving from customers has been brilliant and it is great to know we are doing something to help the community cope during this difficult time.” The business is now working to make delivery available to a broader range of areas and is expanding its range of food and drink products based on customer feedback.