FCS Associates


Local Dance to Health Programme Receives Charity Hub Donation

November 13, 2018

FCS were delighted to present a cheque for £250 to charity and social enterprise Aesop after winning the prize draw during the October Charity Hub networking event. The Charity Hub donation will contribute towards the funding of local classes which form part of Aesop’s Dance to Health programme. Dance to Health is a pioneering falls prevention dance programme for older people that combines evidence-based falls prevention principles with the creativity, expression and energy of dance. FCS runs the Charity Hub, a quarterly networking and information sharing event in Sheffield. At the end of each even there is a prize

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WOW She Did It!! Rachel Runs Yorkshire 10 mile and Raises over £1000 for FCS Charity of the Year

October 15, 2018

Rachel Fletcher, Managing Director, is a keen runner, but this was the first time she’d run such a distance and she was really pleased to have raised £1,400 smashing her £1,000 target for FCS 2018 Charity of the Year, Changing Faces. “It was a fantastic event which I really enjoyed despite the heavy rain.  I am thrilled to have completed it and to have the opportunity to raise so much money for Changing Faces.  I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated”. said Rachel. Rachel’s Just giving page is still open so if you

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A Winning Combination: Tender and Grant Success

October 12, 2018

This year has been a busy year at FCS helping businesses and charities secure grant funding and tender wins. Want to find out more? Here is a summary of a few projects we have worked on this year. Awards for All: Funding for a local charity that supports business start-ups and the wider business community specifically focusing on marginalised communities to deliver a programme of support including training courses, mentoring meetings, a business conference and a Sunday Market Family Fun Day. SCR Business Investment Fund: Significant grant investment to support a local manufacturing company to build and

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D2N2 Win: Investing in Innovation

October 12, 2018

Are you a business located within D2N2 with an innovative idea that you would like to explore? Our new contract with the D2N2 Growth Hub means we can help you source and apply for innovation funding Keeping your business fresh and attractive means investing in innovation – it’s vital for business growth and puts you ahead of the competition. The Investing in Innovation programme will help you to find the inspiration to innovate and break through your barriers to achieve growth and leap ahead of the competition. If you are a business located in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham or Nottinghamshire

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Fingers Crossed for Success: Sheffield Business Awards

October 12, 2018

We’re so excited to have been shortlisted for the Sheffield Business Awards 2018 Excellence in Professional Services Award. The Sheffield Business Awards is one of the most prestigious events in the region and every year businesses from across the region compete for a range of business award.  Now in its 17th year this event is firmly established as the leading awards ceremony for Sheffield businesses. Rachel Fletcher, Managing Director, FCS Associates Ltd said: ‘We’re really looking forward to attending The Sheffield Business Awards event on 29th November at Ponds Forge. We’re up against some other brilliant organisations so we

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New Contract Wins – Public Sector Tender Writing Workshops

June 25, 2018

FCS are delighted to announce that we have won three new contracts to develop and deliver free public sector tender writing workshops. Public Sector Tendering Masterclasses on behalf of Sheffield City Region
These free classes have been running since April 2018 with the final three being delivered during July 2018 in Doncaster, Bolsover and Barnsley out of a total of seven on behalf of the Sheffield City Region. Two levels of masterclass are available; an Introduction workshop for those who haven’t tendered before and an Advanced workshop for attendees with prior tendering experience. At the workshops participants learn how

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New FCS Services Flyer

June 21, 2018

FCS enjoy nothing more than supporting organisations who want to grow, who are open to ideas and really want to succeed. We are committed to delivery of the highest quality service which will make a real difference to your organisation and have achieved this with all of our clients, many of whom use us on a regular basis. Why not take a look at our new services flyer which will give you a taste of how FCS can help your organisation navigate growth with tenders, grants and consultancy Click here to view our new FCS Services Flyer  

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Rachel Fletcher speaks on Jamie Veitch Show

May 21, 2018

Rachel Fletcher, Managing Director of FCS Associates Ltd was invited to speak about Public Sector Procurement on Jamie Veitch’s Business Live show.   The show was broadcast on Sheffield Live on Friday 18th May. Listen to the podcast

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ANDY SORSBY – One of Britain’s top 50 Advisers

March 5, 2018

We’re delighted to announce that our very own Andy Sorsby has been shortlisted as one of Britain’s top 50 advisers for leadership and management by Enterprise Nation and Experian. The awards take place on the 12th March 2018 in London and the winner is to be chosen by public vote.  Andy has been selected in the category of ‘Leadership and Management’ and it would be amazing if he could make the top 10. It’s open to a public vote so please vote for Andy. Click here for more information  

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We’ve been shortlisted for the Excellence in Professional Services category: Sheffield Business Awards

By Helen Richardson
October 20, 2017

The shortlist for the Sheffield Business Awards 2017 has been announced and we’re delighted to have been included for the Excellence in Professional Services Award. The Sheffield Business Awards is one of the most prestigious events in the region. It provides an opportunity for businesses to promote their achievements during the year, raise their profile and ultimately gain the recognition they deserve. Every year businesses of all sizes and sectors compete. At FCS we work incredibly hard supporting organisations to secure grants and to win public sector contracts and delivering business coaching. We are passionate about sharing our extensive

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September 4, 2017

FCS Associates relish the opportunity to share our specialist knowledge and expertise relating to grant and tenders and as such regularly speak at events.  If you have an event you would like us to speak at do get in touch. FCS will be speaking at the following events:

Opportunities for Sheffield Business, 27th September, 8 – 10am
Sheffield is a city that people choose to live and do business in and has developed beyond all recognition in the last decade. Investors, both domestic and international, are demonstrating great confidence in the city which is evidenced by the evolving

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FCS to take forward future organisation of Charity Hub events

September 1, 2017

FCS are pleased to announce that they will be taking forward the future organisation of Charity Hub events. Previously run by Bhayani Law and Partners the Charity Hub is an excellent information sharing and networking opportunity aimed at Charity Trustees, Chief Executive Officers and other senior managers of charities and other not for profit organisations. FCS are very excited about this opportunity and are looking forward to adding their specialist grant funding and public sector tender expertise to the mix of professional advice available during the meetings. Meetings will continue to be held on a quarterly basis and will

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FCS: New Contract Wins

August 11, 2017

We are pleased to announce that FCS Associates is a delivery partner on the following new contracts: Leeds LEP Strategic Business Growth Programme
This partnership will see us provide expert advice to small and medium sized businesses to help them realise their growth potential. The Strategic Business Growth Programme provides expert advice to small and medium sized businesses to help them realise their growth potential. This programme can provide impartial one-to-one coaching on all aspects of business growth, including financial management, sales, marketing and planning. It also delivers workshops on ‘hot topics’ and businesses will have the chance to

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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 Eligibility Check

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 eligibility check.  During this telephone call we will go through the tender and identify exactly what would need to be in place in terms of ability,

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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

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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

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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

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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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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 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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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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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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10 Things Your Business Needs to be Tender Ready

November 28, 2017

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 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

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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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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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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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