FCS Associates

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FCS Contract Wins

April 11, 2017

We are pleased to announce that following a competitive bidding process we have been selected to deliver through the following programmes: Sheffield City Region Growth Hub
We have been selected to continue to provide support to the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub as Specialist Advisors and through the Access to Finance Programme. “Be the Boss” – Derby University
“Be the Boss” is a programme of enterprise support aimed at students and graduates of the University of Derby who want to become self-employed. FCS successfully tendered for a place on the Business Advice Framework and will be providing specialist business

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FREE Tender Opportunity Review Call

April 10, 2017

Tenders and the process of applying for them can be daunting. Every tender comes with its own set of criteria and requirements. They can take so much time to complete and there’s no guarantee of winning so how do you decide if you should apply or not? There are all sorts of things to consider and that is why we decided to share our tendering expertise and offer a FREE, no obligation tender opportunity review call to go through the tender and identify exactly what would need to be in place in terms of ability, experience and accreditations in

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7 Benefits of Using Our Tender Checking Service

March 28, 2017

Everyone wants to take advantage of opportunities to help their business grow, generating income and securing employees futures. Tendering for contracts provides just such opportunities, however the process of completing tenders can be daunting. No one enjoys the prospect of preparing a tender: downloading, reading and understanding the documentation; writing responses that answer everything the tenderer needs to know; identifying the perfect USP to ensure you stand out head and shoulders above the rest and all of the above needs to be succinctly communicated within a pre-formatted document that has word limit restrictions and needs to be submitted the

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FCS Associates Appointed as Launchpad Associates

November 7, 2016

FCS Associates Limited (FCS) are pleased to announce their appointment as Launchpad Associates.  This exciting opportunity was awarded to FCS after going through a competitive tendering process and their contract will run until until march 2019. Launchpad is a new fully inclusive and co-ordinated programme of start-up support which aims to help create hundreds of new businesses across the region over the next three years. The £4 million programme is being delivered through the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Growth Hub, launched by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership last month, and involves a consortium of the region’s local authorities,

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FCS Business Referral Programme

September 19, 2016

The FCS referral programme helps you to help your clients and generates additional revenue for yourself or your business. What Can I Earn as an FCS referrer?
As an FCS referrer you could earn high street retail vouchers for every client introduced to us who generates over £450 (+VAT) of income for FCS Associates.
There is no limit to how many customers you can refer. It’s our way of thanking you for the business. What Exactly Does FCS Associates Provide?
FCS Associates are the grant and tender writing experts, here are the services we offer: Bid and tender writing

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How to grow your business

July 19, 2016

One of the most common questions I get asked, particularly in times of uncertainty (which we certainty are in at the moment) is what a company should do to grow. Should they secure more clients and then get more staff or get more staff and task them with looking for new clients or go into new markets, or develop new products. The answer I often give, is all of the above and more. The reason for this is that what I often find most helpful when supporting a company to grow is for the business owner to take some

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FREE Business Support

June 20, 2016

If your business is based within the Sheffield City Region we can offer you up to 12 hours of free business support to help you grow your business.   FCS Associates have been appointed as Sheffield City Region Enterprise Advisers and Access to Finance Advisers.  Because of this we are pleased to let you know we can offer you up to 12 hours of free support (if your business is in the Sheffield City Region). If you require specialist business advice or support,  need to access finance for a large growth project, or advice setting up a new business we can

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Need Help with your Sheffield Skills Bank Application?

May 18, 2016

Have you signed up to the Sheffield City Region Skills Bank?  Do you have the time to complete your ‘Skills Deal’ application? Successful applicants will benefit from thousands of pounds worth of skills training in the areas applicable to their business. FCS Associates are offering ALL business who need help with their application the following package: Fact finding visit from a member of the FCS team Drafting the initial application for you approval Completion and submission of your application ‘The work we have undertaken with FCS Associates has been extremely beneficial to Brailsford Brothers.  I wouldn’t hesitate in working with

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Biz Kids pair up raises an astonishing £2.7K for St Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield

April 20, 2016

Biz Kids is a challenge set up by St Luke’s Hospice providing an amazing opportunity for school’s, businesses and St Luke’s to work together. The challenge broadens children’s experience of enterprise, helps to develop relationships within the community and informs the children of the incredible work of St Luke’s whilst raising money to help continue the work. Children at Tinsley Meadows Primary School in Sheffield were paired up with FCS Associates Ltd (FCS) to develop an enterprise that would see a £100 seed fund invested by FCS grow. Andy Sorsby, Director at FCS mentored the children by providing an

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3 Things A Business Can Do After A New Contract Win

January 19, 2016

Over the years we have helped many organisations to win numerous contracts from Abbeycare and Nursing winning a place on the multi-million pound Sheffield City Council Supported Living Framework to Really NEET securing a £450k Reaching Communities bid from the Big Lottery.   One of the things organisations can often overlook is how to celebrate and make the most of their new win.   Here are three things your business can do after your next win:  

    Write a Press Release – Ask the client if they would mind you putting together a press release to celebrate your win. This can

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How do I decide whether my business should bid for a tender or not?

January 19, 2016

This is one of the questions that often crops us – business owners see a tender opportunity but are unsure as to whether or not they should spend the time and resources writing the bid.  Preconceptions we’ve heard in the past include: They’ve already made a decision, we don’t stand a chance We don’t have full quality accreditation and therefore won’t win The competition will be too great and a bigger, more well-known company will win   Whilst there are no guarantees, we have put together a checklist to work through to help you work out whether or not

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What sort of businesses win grant funding? 

December 3, 2015

In the last 18 months we have helped our clients to access over £1.7million of grant funding (£1,747,000 to be precise).  We thought it would be useful to provide details of this so that other organisations can appreciate what sort of businesses can and do win grants. For an informal chat regards grant funding for your organisation please contact us: http://www.fcsassociates.co.uk/contact-us/   Manufacturing and Engineering Rober Ltd – £49,000 from the D2N2 Unlocking Investment for Growth Programme towards production equipment. Quartex Components Ltd –  £8,000 grant towards the purchase of specialist spray tooling equipment through the Global Derbyshire Programme

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7 Misconceptions about Grants

October 6, 2015

In the first 9 months of 2015 Rachel Fletcher and the team at FCS Associates have helped organisations win grants worth over £650k.   With 20 years of bid writing experience Rachel explains the 7 biggest misconceptions that organisations have about applying for grant funding. You can learn more about current grants available via our grants page  

Photo by Sujin Jetkasettakorn courtesy of Free Digital Photos
1 – Asking which grants can you get? When businesses get to know what I do the very first question I often get asked is which grant can I get? This is the

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What Makes A Winning Bid?

July 27, 2015

When recently helping a client respond to a tender, they asked the million dollar question, what makes a winning bid?  Well as is often the case it isn’t just about one thing but a number of things which make the difference. Answer the Question

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Firstly, answer the question that is being asked rather than the question that you wish they had asked. What I mean by this is that it is important to really look at the wording of the question and if it asks for an explanation of your experience in

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Health & Safety – what does it mean for micro businesses?

June 6, 2015

By Andy Sorsby As the owner of a micro business, when you are involved with a new task, do you often find yourself faced with the question “.. is this really safe?” If you do hear yourself asking this question, be thankful, it is your brains way of telling you that perhaps you should think about the situation a little first before proceeding.  If you don’t hear yourself asking this question and you, or an employee gets harmed, then depending on your arrangements for H&S management you could well be either incapacitated if it is you that was harmed,

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Stress – Is it H&S or HR?

May 19, 2015

The simple short answer is – it is a Health & Safety issue that generally ends up being managed by Human Resources.  By definition, stress is a reaction to excessive pressure in whatever form it manifests itself. More accurately it arises when there is disparity between the demands on the employee and their ability to respond to them, when the individual concerned has little or no control. The main stressors that will bring rise to stress related illness are: Job Factors

Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
role conflicts relationships organisational factors workload medical events personality traits. Symptoms will

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10 Things Your Business Needs to be Tender Ready

May 19, 2015

By Rachel Fletcher Every year across the UK over £230bn of spend is procured involving 4.9 million businesses. The size and value of this marketplace has recently been recognised as important to the growth and sustainability of the UK economy and therefore in recognition of this the Government has recently made a commitment that at least 25% of public sector contracts will be awarded to SMEs and independent auditors have been commissioned to ensure this happens. Are you Tender Ready? If you are interested in bidding for public sector contracts then at FCS we recommend that you become ‘

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Supporting IT Success

May 13, 2015

A Barnsley IT company, with a strong foothold in the precision engineering sector, has doubled staff levels in the past 12 months, thanks in part to the help received from FCS Associates; funded by the Enterprising Barnsley programme. Goldthorpe-based company IT Desk has increased staff to seven since last summer in order to meet demand and turnover has also doubled. The company, which was set up in 2006 offers IT management and support to small and large businesses and specialises in proactive support including remote monitoring of systems 24 hours a day. This allows IT Desk to respond to

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Supporting Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS): Big Assist Programme

November 15, 2013

FCS Associates have been contracted by Voluntary Action Sheffield to support it to re-look at its current marketing strategy and devise and design new methods and approaches to support the charity to continue to grow and diversify. This work is being supported by the Big Assist Programme which provides 100% funding vouchers to infrastructure organisations to be spent with funding with accredited suppliers. This is the second contract FCS has won through the Big Assist Programme, folowing successfully support CASE Kent with strategic planning ans public sector procurement advice.

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FCS helps Biz Kids to be entrepreneurs of the future

May 1, 2015

Biz Kids is the annual Sheffield primary school fundraising business challenge organised by St Luke’s Hospice.  This year’s winners – selected from the 11 schools taking part across the city – were Tinsley Meadows Primary School and Pathways Academy. The young students from Tinsley Meadows – who were supported throughout their campaign by Andy Sorsby of FCS Associates and Biz Kids ambassador Angela Rees – made and sold friendship bracelets, organised a ‘Guess the Teacher’ competition and held an Ice Bucket challenge, raising a final total of £1,223. They were awarded the competition’s Key Learning Objective prize as the

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FCS Director Completes Sheffield 10k for St Lukes Hospice

September 26, 2013

Andy Sorsby, Director of FCS Associates completed the Bupa Sheffield 10k run on the 29th of September helping St Lukes to raise over £7.5k from the event. Speaking shortly after the event, Andy described how the last 2 kilometers were extremely painful but was overwhelmed by the experience and proud to run on behalf of such a worthy cause.

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Another Coaching Success in Calderdale

October 15, 2013

Following an earlier 12 month contract with Leeds Metropolitan University to deliver Business Growth Calderdale an SME coaching project, FCS is pleased to announce that it has been selected to deliver Phase 2. Under Phase 1 FCS supported a range of small and medium sized businesses with marketing and sales advice, procurement and tendering assistance and strategic business planning, across sectors as diverse as IT to food processing and the manufacture of specialist stain glass windows. Rachel Fletcher, the MD of FCS associates said ‘We are really looking forward to working with SME’s in Calderdale. Under Phase 1 we

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FCS Supports DTS Digital of RGF Grant Success!

April 29, 2014

FCS Associates have been working with DTS Digital to secure grant funding from the Regional Growth Fund to develop an innovative IT technology solution to secure it position in the marketplace. FCS supported the company to identify available funding and to successfully complete the detailed application form, resulting in grant success!

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SMART Round 4 Just Launched

September 9, 2013

Smart is a grant scheme which offers funding to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products and processes and services could emerge. Three types of grant are availabble: Proof of market Proof of concept Development of prototype Any UK SME undertaking research and development may apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment by independent experts.

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FUSE Partnership Success

August 5, 2013

FCS associates has recently undertaken a detailed strategic market research review and business plan development on behalf of the FUSE Partnership. FUSE is a collaboration of nine infrastructure voluntary and community organisations who succesfully bid for Big Lottery Transforming Local Infrastructure funding in 2011 to build on successful working practices and tackle long term sustainability. The work undertaken by FCS has identified a range of new market opportunities underpinned by detailed financial and strategic planning, supporting the organisation to a sustainable and successful future.

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SHU Bid Writing Workshop

July 18, 2013

On the 9th of July Rachel delivered a full day workshop on bid writing to key individuals at Sheffield Hallam University. The course, which is a fundamental learning tool for all prospective suppliers to the public sector was well recieved by all according to Twitter feedback which included comments such as “Fantastic course on bid writing by @FCSAssociates Anyone looking at making the most of opportunities with bids and and grants should get in touch”. The workshop’s aobectives were to explain the procurement process, explore how to identify and respond to bid opportunities, understand the requirements for being ‘Tender

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Growth Accelerator Success

September 17, 2012

Rachel Fletcher is pleased to announce that she is now a registered and approved Growth Coach for GrowthAccelerator helping ambitious businesses achieve rapid and sustainable growth by providing tailored expert advice. Find out more at www.growthaccelerator.com.

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£100k Wraparound Project Success

September 27, 2012

FCS Associates have supported the Leeds based charity Involve to secure £100k of grant funding from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Programme. The Wraparound project will focus on delivering a preventative mentoring programme to help disengaged young people to take part in positive activities leading to education and employment success and the opportunity to become a project ambassador, able to support other young people in the future.

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Helping Bishop Auckland College to Secure Contract Success

October 4, 2012

FCS Associates is supporting staff at Bishop Auckland College to develop their bid writing skills and secure funding success. At a recent FCS bid writing workshop held at the college, Rachel assisted staff to explore how to be ‘Tender Ready’ and how to formulate and respond to Local Authority tenders.

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BIG ASSIST Supplier Success

November 20, 2012

FCS Associates is pleased to announce that it has been successful in being selected as a supplier for the BIG Assist programme (see http://www.bigassist.org.uk/). BIG ASSIST offers a range of free support for voluntary and community organisations and the opportunity to secure funding vouchers which can be spent with approved suppliers to help you strengthen and grow. Through this scheme as an approved FCS supplier can provide a range of free support services including help with tendering/bidding, business planning, sales and marketing or other support needs. The scheme has only just been launched and therefore now is an excellent time to get involved,

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St. Luke’s Success

December 1, 2012

In December 2012 FCS helped to support St Luke’s requirement for intelligence gathering through the provision of a monthly ‘St Luke’s Information Bulletin’. This contained a summary of information focusing on policy and publications, news and grants and contract opportunities across a range of themes and topics. The intelligence gathering activity cumulated in the creation of ‘St Luke’s News’, a monthly 3 page information digest providing brief summaries and a web-link to allow the reader to access further detail.

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Welcome Aboard!

January 16, 2013

FCS Associates is extremely pleased to announce that Andy Sorsby has joined FCS as a director. Andy has worked in the private sector for nearly 20 years in the logistics sector and has vast operational experience and an intense enthusiasm that will be of significant benefit to FCS Associates in its growth aspirations. Andy graduated from university in Bristol with a BA Hons degree in business studies and honed his knowledge helping blue chip companies develop their operational excellence.

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CTS Success

February 20, 2013

Rachel Fletcher (MD) helped CTS write a bid for the Sheffield City Region Apprenticeship HUB which they ultimately won. In the pipeline as part of this three year skills spending plan is an apprenticeship and skills hub where trained account managers will specifically work with employers and colleges. The staff will build contracts with employers, procure the services of providers, process training funds and manage funding streams for apprenticeship schemes. The programme’s essential aims are to put businesses in the driving seat to secure the training programmes and apprenticeships they want. The Skills Made Easy Programme aims to create

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Sheffield Hallam University Business School Success

April 15, 2013

FCS provided the Sheffield Hallam University Business School with a tracker, the Business school is the 3rd faculty that FCS have dealt with along with the Health and Wellbeing faculty & the Development and Society faculty.
The FCS Funding Tracker” is a unique, personalised e-bulletin containing only the relevant funding, grant and contract opportunities, tailored to suit your business. FCS check over 100 sources of opportunities including sectorally specific, regionally specific, need specific, grants and contracts.

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CASE Success

May 8, 2013

Community Action South East (CASE) is an infrastructure charity with a number of local offices from which it delivers direct support to local charities and community groups. The objective of this activity was to undertake a review working in partnership with the Senior Management Team and Board Members, encompassing the current operating model and service offering as well as the income strategy: exploring potential new services the organisation could deliver in addition to grant and contract opportunities. The activity was carried out through one on one discussions, facilitated workshops, strategic funding reviews, funding bulletins and developing a business plan.

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SMART Round 3 Just Launched

July 31, 2013

Smart is a grant scheme which offers funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. Three types of grant are available: Proof of market Proof of concept Development of prototypes The scheme supports SMEs carrying out R&D which offers potentially significant rewards and that could stimulate UK economic growth.

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Welcome Aboard!

June 20, 2013

FCS associates recently felt the need to undertake a research project which led to the offering of an internship to Rachel Mannion, whose responsibilities will include scoping the private sector for opportunities, supporting the business with general research qualities, and aid in bid writing. Rachel was selected for her English language skills, the ability to work under her own steam as well as her commitment to and enthusiasm for FCS associates.

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The Northern Linconshire and Goole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

May 24, 2013

The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust manages the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, Scunthorpe General Hospital and Goole and District Hospital. The Trust collectively employs 6000 staff and has a budget of £275m for service delivery. Over the last 12 months the Trust has undergone significant change following the on-going reorganisation of the NHS and reductions in Government funding.  This has led to the cessation of non-essential employability and work-related services, which previously would have added value.
One challenge now faced by the Trust is its ambition to continue to engage with its local

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