News‎ > ‎News Archive‎ > ‎


Superfast South Yorkshire Consultation - Have Your Say!

posted 4 Dec 2014, 08:04 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 4 Dec 2014, 08:06 ]

Superfast South Yorkshire is a partnership of the four South Yorkshire Authorities (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield) who have signed a contract with BT worth almost £22m to provide superfast broadband 97.9% of homes and businesses across South Yorkshire by the end of 2017.   

Superfast South Yorkshire is keen to hear from businesses about current level and user experience of broadband.  

The results from this business survey will help inform and shape the programme and identify the level of support needed by businesses to take advantage of improved broadband.  

Ready for Business Shows Strength in Numbers!

posted 24 Oct 2014, 05:51 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 24 Oct 2014, 06:46 ]

There really is strength in numbers – as RiDO can confirm as a member of the National Enterprise Network (NEN). 

RiDO joined the NEN in 2013, as a way of ensuring the continued delivery of business start-up training and support in Rotherham, under the NEN’s ‘Ready for Business’ programme.

Below is a summary of the success that the NEN programme has achieved in 2013/14:

  • 128,282 clients across England accessed independent enterprise support, advice and training services from the NEN membership
  • 80,618 of these were individuals looking to start a business – which equates to a 58% increase compared to the previous year
  • 47,664 established small businesses were also supported during this period
  • NEN members helped 26,148 starts - an 80% increase on the previous year
  • NEN members had a part in creating 29,227 new jobs
  • 83% of business previously created survived their first year of trading thanks to NEN member input
  • 45% of clients seen across the country were female and 22% from an ethnic background
  • 97% of the English population is able to access services from the NEN network of organisations
If you are interested in getting help with starting your business, please speak to one of our friendly Business Advisors.

Calling Rotherham Employers - How You Can Help Local Unemployed Graduates

posted 1 Oct 2014, 02:29 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 1 Oct 2014, 03:21 ]

Do you remember what it was like when you were looking for your first job? It can be a daunting task – facing the challenges of overcoming nerves during the interview process, lacking any actual work experience and key employability skills etc.

What is the Graduate Accelerator Programme?
This is a unique programme that aims to support local employers who are able to give unemployed graduates the opportunity they need to start their careers. It also helps the graduates make the transition from University and provides them with a two week training course covering essential employability skills. These include – team working, communication, customer service, time management, problem solving, presentation skills, commercial awareness and social media.

How can you get involved and help the graduates?
There is a ‘Meet the Graduates’ event at Rotherham Town Hall on Thursday, 24 October from 10.30am to 1pm – lunch included!  At the event you will get the opportunity to meet the graduates and hear them each do a five minute presentation (putting their presentation skills training into practice!) about who they are, what they have to offer you and their future aspirations.

If you meet any graduates that you would like to recruit you can interview them at a later date with a view to offering them a fully funded four week work experience or a permanent job. The team running the training are also able to offer free mentor training for your staff who will have responsibility for mentoring the graduate and support developing an induction programmes.

If you would like to find out more about the programme and/or attend the ‘Meet the Graduates’ event then please contact Sarah Wilkinson.

About the author: Sarah Wilkinson is a qualified HR professional working for RiDO, providing recruitment and training support to local Rotherham companies and inward investors looking to establish an operation in Rotherham.

Making the Most: Developing Research Capability

posted 24 Sep 2014, 05:47 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 4 Mar 2015, 06:42 ]

Research & Development can seem a daunting area to many companies. Men in white coats and laboratories are the first thoughts that most people have when the topic is raised, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Research & Development Help in RotherhamWhat Exactly is R&D?
Almost every product or process that we use today was first researched and then developed to get it to a point where it was adopted by users. Much of this was organic; a natural ability by companies to make things better and improve the functionality of their product or process over time...which is why so many companies we speak to don’t feel they qualify!

How do I know what Qualifies?
There are a number of different programmes and levels of assistance to companies, so it’s worthwhile getting in touch if you are developing something new. Usually, if you are looking at a new way of doing or making something, it’s worth asking the question. This doesn't have to be in a laboratory, but could be on the factory floor, a process or even a new IT system.

Rotherham Contractors Sought

posted 23 Sep 2014, 01:33 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 23 Sep 2014, 01:36 ]

Efficiency North
Rotherham based Efficiency North Limited, a consortium of social housing providers in Yorkshire and Humber, is now inviting contractors of all sizes to tender for their new EN Procure Installers Framework, which aims to source the best in a wide range of disciplines to build a leading edge supply chain for the consortium’s members.

The next generation framework should be available from April 2015 and has an estimated demand of £360m.

The new framework will offer integrated provision for housing providers’ planned and cyclical maintenance projects, including kitchen and bathroom installation, heating and ventilation, electrical installation, brickwork and masonry, renewable heating and ventilation, roofing, general building works, painting, estates improvements, external works, adaptations, solar photovoltaic installations, fire precaution works, and whole house improvement works.

The framework’s structure is intended to offer contract opportunities to a wide variety of construction contractors of all sizes, with a real prospect for micro, small and medium-sized companies to win social housing installations work in their own neighbourhoods.  

About the author: Dean Hughes works on the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme, assisting high growth small and medium sized companies to reach their true potential through targeted access to support and contacts across the South Yorkshire and wider Sheffield City Region. 

Economy picking up?

posted 22 Sep 2014, 07:57 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 22 Sep 2014, 07:57 ]

In our last post, Andrew Nettleton highlighted the new developments on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham that Rotherham MBC have funded, in order to continue to provide necessary commercial premises for companies locating in the borough. In this post, Paul Woodcock, Director of Planning, Regeneration & Culture at Rotherham MBC discusses his perceptions of the local property market and economy.

It appears that most observers are talking about an upturn in the economy, with some evidence to back this up – ranging from Govt. unemployment figures to an upturn in the building trade 
(source: my friends from the local pub!).

If history tells us anything then this will start to show in the commercial property market, with an increase in demand for property which then leads to a potential shortage of premises.  The key for me, in previous ‘boom’ times has been the availability of premises (in the main speculative build or empty space) which businesses can look around and hopefully compare and ultimately select their preferred office, factory or unit – just like buying or renting a house or car. This is a key route to economic growth & especially job growth.

During the last growth cycle (1998-08) only three out of the nine Sheffield City Region areas had net private sector job growth, the rest lost private sector jobs – with nearby Sheffield (-5,517 jobs) and Barnsley (-6,563 jobs). Rotherham topped the table with a net increase of 8,319 private sector jobs. (source:SCR IER 2013)

My take on this is the fact that Rotherham had (and still has) a good supply of commercial premises – at the right price, right location and a selection of sizes. We are keen to ensure this continues – as evidenced by RiDO’s direct involvement in the R-Evolution buildings being built at the AMP and our recently approved planning core strategy.

If you are in the market for new premises for your business then get in touch with the RiDO team.

Let’s hope the economy continues to pick up.

About the author: Paul Woodcock is Director of Planning, Regeneration & Culture at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, with responsibility for Economic & Development Services, Libraries, Museums and Customer Service.

There’s a Property R-Evolution Going-on in South Yorkshire!

posted 22 Sep 2014, 02:58 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 9 Mar 2015, 08:30 ]

When it comes to the property market in the UK, Rotherham in South Yorkshire has seen a boom in the level and quality of property being built over the last decade. With new hi-tech units completing this next month, this trend looks set to continue.

The Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP)

The new units, named R-Evolution, sit within the prestigious development at the AMP, conven-iently located just off junction 33 of the M1 motorway and between the key manufacturing areas of Rotherham and Sheffield, at the heart of the Sheffield City Region. The motorway infra-structure, comprehensive rail links from the City Region and proximity to the Humber Ports less than one hour away, make this an attractive location for manufacturing companies.

Home to Boeing, Rolls Royce, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and a host of other technology companies and institutes, the AMP plays a key role in enabling technology development in a number of industries across the globe.

So What is R-Evolution?

R-Evolution is a quality development of properties, consisting:
2x 11,000 sq ft quality industrial unit (can be combined)
1x 30,000 sq ft quality industrial unit (sold)

Each unit comprises:
- a steel portal framed building with glazed elevations
- own yard with turning circle and parking
- 7m eaves height
- 2x 5m electronic loading doors 
- modern offices

The Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone (SCR EZ)
The R-Evolution properties sit within the SCR EZ, a government designated zone allowing tax incentives for qualifying businesses locating to the park. The SCR EZ website gives further information on eligibility.

If you are interested in further information on any of these properties, please contact the RiDO team.

About the author: Andrew Nettleton is Business Investment Manager at the Rotherham Investment & Development Office, providing support for existing companies located at the AMP, along with investors looking to grow their business in the Rotherham and Sheffield areas. 

Model Business Generation with the ‘Business Model Canvas’

posted 18 Sep 2014, 04:21 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 18 Sep 2014, 04:24 ]

When it comes to planning your business growth, whether as a company starting up or an established business, knowing where to start is never easy! RiDO business advisors recently attended the ‘Business Model Canvas’ training workshop to help companies in the borough effectively plan their growth.

So what’s it all about?

The Business Model Canvas, delivered by US based Varela Consulting, takes participants on a journey through the business planning process, but from a new and unique angle.
Advisors on the course were shown how to use the framework to narrow down the numerous ideas and avenues that most businesses have when first looking at initiating a project. By using a large-scale version of the canvas model in a group environment, participants can visualise, order and re-organise key elements of the business growth plan.
The flexibility of the programme allows business owners to avoid costly mistakes by exploring options and back-tracking where necessary to choose more effective strategies.
Using this approach, it’s possible to identify key parameters and influences within and outside the business and build effective business model prototypes. 

Visualising Communication
The programme highlights the effectiveness of using visual representation to communicate messages, both when developing the Business Model Canvas and for wider use within teams and to customers alike. Visually engaging these groups allows for a quick understanding to be developed with the target audience and removes the reliance on lengthy documents to convey your message. 

How you can benefit from the programme
RiDO offers a number of business support programmes for companies looking to start up or grow in the borough. Services range from business planning to human resources assistance, finance to research and development. To access these services and more, please contact RiDO here or browse the website for further information.

About the author: Andrew Klinkenberg works on the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme, assisting high growth small and medium sized companies to reach their true potential through targeted access to support and contacts across the South Yorkshire and wider Sheffield City Region. 

Precision Provision for Proving Factory

posted 13 Aug 2014, 05:53 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 15 Aug 2014, 07:47 ]

Tata Steel and partners spearheading ‘The Proving Factory’ in Rotherham, have taken space at Newburgh Precision’s Templeborough factory in order to gear up the operation in advance of the proposed start date in 2015.

Taking low-carbon vehicle technologies by British companies, the project aims to test their viability in small-scale production volumes and will cost almost £22m to set up. It is hoped that these technologies will then have a greater chance of being adopted by car manufacturers.

Tata Steel, who already have a significant presence in the area, alongside Productive Ltd., are backed by the government to set up a larger-scale component facility at their Brinsworth site to open next year.

The smaller facility will temporarily make use of 1000 sq m of Newburgh’s site whilst the larger project is completed. Newburgh were chosen as they have a highly rated history in the precision manufacture of advanced components, including nuclear, aerospace and even parts for the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car! The latest machinery will be delivered shortly to the interim facility in order to start to produce the high tolerance components to be tested for the low carbon car market.

The Proving Factory will also enrol their ten apprentices on Newburgh’s training programme, after initial time spent at the AMRC Training Centre.

David Greenan, Managing Director at Newburgh Precision, said: "Newburgh Precision has a healthy order book in its own right and we have been recruiting and investing in new equipment at our Rotherham facility to support this growth. This relationship with The Proving Factory will continue this development and add new technology and processes into our working practices. Our works manager, Nick Andrew, has been carefully selected by The Proving Factory to take the role of operations lead in this relationship, a fantastic opportunity for him and the business to work closely with this innovative initiative."

Mark Broxholme, Managing Director of Tata Steel's Speciality Steels business commented: "We have worked hard to plan our development and growth as The Proving Factory's component manufacturing volumes increase towards our target of four million components over the next decade. This new interim site allows us to get started with component development and manufacturing as quickly as possible, while achieving the most efficient combination of required space and cost. We are very much looking forward to moving into our new home this month, and are positive our new site and the support of Newburgh Precision will give us the capability we need to support the delivery of the initial pre-production components and assemblies by the end of this year."

Companies including Flybrid, Torotrak, Bladon Jets, Drive Systems Design, Libralato and Magnomatics are to use the facility with volumes of around 10,000-20,000 units a year being produced. 

Sweet Support for Cocoa Chic

posted 13 Aug 2014, 05:41 by RiDO Rotherham

A young entrepreneur from Rotherham who has experienced sustained growth since launching her chocolate manufacturing business says it's important that 
startups get the right support in the early stages of launching a new business.Libby Carl (29) from Wickersley (pictured, left) launched Cocoa Chic two
 years ago with help from UK Steel Enterprise and a grant from its Kickstart Fund, as well as business planning support from Rotherham Youth Enterprise.

Libby, who always knew that she'd open her own business one day, said: "It's been very hard running a new business as a sole trader for the last two years 
but the support I had at the start was critical. The grant I got from UK Steel was very useful and the help I got from Rotherham Youth Enterprise in finding 
me subsidised premises was critical; without both of them I don't think I would be here today."

Two years on from launching the business that makes artisan chocolates for special occasions Libby has expanded the business to include collaborations with 
Sheffield food manufacturers, chocolate making workshops in schools and colleges as well as teaming up with other businesses for special complementary events. 
The latest venture sees Libby supplying chocolate creations to a Rotherham coffee shop.

Cocoa Chic is the only chocolate manufacturer and one of only a very small number of food manufacturers to have been awarded the Made in Sheffield Mark; a standard
that recognises an ongoing commitment to quality and excellence in manufacturing by companies in the Sheffield city region.Hayley Middlebrook, regional secretary
for UK Steel Enterprise, said: "Libby's passion for what she does is obvious and underpins all she does with Cocoa Chic. She's taken the business in new 
directions and creates part-time jobs at peak times such as Christmas. She has vision and drive and sets a brilliant example for other aspiring entrepreneurs."

Applicants to the Kickstart Fund can get support from Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO) and Rotherham Youth Enterprise to help them with business
planning and mentoring through the early stages of running the business. UK Steel Enterprise has helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009.

Jackie Frost, manager of Rotherham Youth Enterprise, said: "Libby is a great role model for what can be achieved with hard work and determination. It's nice to
 hear her say how much we helped her in the early days. We are delighted she is doing so well and look forward to providing further support as her business goes
 from strength to strength."

Source - Rotherham Business News -

1-10 of 15