Nuclear specialists Atkins has partnered with local start-up Cumbria O&M Services Ltd, helping it bid successfully for contracts and more than double its workforce. Pictured from left are Dave Polkey, Atkins’ head of nuclear decommissioning north, and Dave Garratt and Cliff Woodman from COMS.
NUCLEAR specialists from Atkins are using their expertise to give small businesses the boost they need to succeed in the Cumbrian nuclear market.
The engineering consultancy has partnered with local start-up Cumbria O&M Services Ltd, helping it bid successfully for contracts and more than double its workforce.
Dave Garratt and Cliff Woodman founded COMS in April 2014 to fill a gap in the market for operations and maintenance – particularly pre-operations, which they realised was under-resourced.
Dave Polkey, Atkins’ head of nuclear decommissioning north, said:
I first heard about COMS through a contact at Sellafield. They were offering a service that complements ours nicely and I thought they would make suitable partners going forward. In helping them out, hopefully we are making a small contribution to the economic regeneration of the area by helping an SME (small and medium sized enterprise) start up.
Mr Woodman said:
There were hurdles to overcome to get into Sellafield Ltd. We needed the correct level of insurance, for example. “Atkins gave us invaluable advice and pushed us along the correct route. Without that, we wouldn’t have been able to provide the service that we do.” There was also a lack of commercial routes into Sellafield Ltd as a Tier 3 company. Atkins has really given us the best support we could have.
Mr Garratt said:
Collaborating with Atkins has made things much easier than working on our own. “We’re extremely pleased with Atkins’ support, and with Dave Polkey’s help in particular. Any business that received this level of support is off to a flier.
COMS is going from strength to strength, and it is planned that it will increase its workforce from four to 10 in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Mr Polkey is watching out for new opportunities to share his expertise, adding:
We’re always on the lookout for SMEs who can support our business in West Cumbria helping us to meet our clients’ needs.