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Busy, Busy, Busy! Viewpoint from Mike Mullin

Mike Mullin, Service Manager: Business Support and Investment (Sefton)

I’m proud to report our team has so far assisted over 660 businesses through brokerage support. We know that business owners and managers are busy people, and don’t have time to research all of the help and support available to them across the City Region. So we can do this for you, providing impartial information and managed referrals to a range of free services and providers.

Here’s a quick round up of recent successes:

ODL Europe is a USA owned business operating out of Liverpool City Region manufacturing window cassettes, enclosed blinds and screen doors. The business has invested significantly in new equipment, supported by its US parent and as a result has grown job numbers from 13 to 27 in recent years. The company is again investing, this time in improvements to the premises to create more space for storage that will allow ODL to provide complete door solutions to the construction trade, targeted at its existing primarily UK market (only 4% is currently exported) but also to make inroads to export, with a view to increasing sales to Europe to 10-15% of total sales. This growth will see turnover increase from $6m to $30m (forecast) in 3 years and result in the creation of up to 6 further jobs.They are currently about to recruit up to three new apprentices.

GWY International Ltd is an importer of Asian food and ingredients for the restaurant and hospitality sector. The business imports cooking supplies from China, and specialises in cooking oil and cooking wine for Chinese cuisine, which are labelled under the company’s own brand, ‘East Kings Foods’. The target market is wholesalers, who supply the restaurant trade and Chinese supermarkets across the UK. The business has interest in their products in Germany, and is visiting Dusseldorf to meet a large company in May. Other opportunities have also been identified in France and Holland. The business was assisted with developing a business plan and cash flow projections to support business growth. They have also been assisted in applying for New Markets support, through Liverpool Chamber’s export programme.

Kura, an outsourced contact centre and software specialist, has selected Liverpool City Region for a major new site and its first outside of Scotland. The Glasgow-based company has occupied Caspian House at Atlantic Park, which is expected to house over 400 employees. The move comes after Kura was selected as a strategic partner of Scottish Power for the next five years to become the utility giant’s largest outsource customer services provider. Following the highly competitive tender process which started in January 2016, Kura will provide Telephony handling services in the United Kingdom from 1st April 2017 onwards. The new telephony contracts meet Scottish Power’s promise of delivering all call handling services from UK based contact centres. The new contracts will also support current service teams and local communities by focusing on contact centres in existing Scottish Power regions. The new centre opened at Atlantic Park on Saturday 1st April, it will house 200 contact centre advisors, leaving an additional 200 seats available for Kura’s ambitious growth plans.

“We’re delighted to be opening this major new site in the thriving Liverpool area.” said Brian Bannatyne, Chief Executive of Kura. “Liverpool City Region offers a fantastic platform for our expansion within the UK and will create new jobs for those in the area. At Kura we’re out to build a very different business in our industry, one that is focused on its people and their development. Our philosophy is to help people be the best they can be and our vision is to be recognised across all organisations as unrivalled in developing people. Caspian House will be a flagship site, creating the right learning environment for the culture we are building. ” We worked with Kura to bring this investment in to the city region, providing information on demographics, accessibility and lifestyle.

For more information, you can contact me by email on mike.mullin@sefton.gov.uk.