BUSINESS leaders from companies large and small were revved up when they attended a special event at the headquarters of World Rally Champions M-Sport on 20th March.
Experts shared best practice across a number of fields before delegates were given a tour of the company’s impressive headquarters.
The event was the latest in a collaborative series organised by leading Cumbrian legal firm Cartmell Shepherd and they partnered with insurance broker Jelf, as both companies have offices alongside M-Sport in the grounds of Dovenby Hall.
Sue Howorth, founder of The Family Business Network was asked to co-host the event by network partners, Cartmell Shepherd as well as leading an inciteful Q&A session.
Joanne Stronach, Head of Employment Law at Cartmell Shepherd said the variety of businesses that attended the event was indicative of the county’s diverse economy, adding: “It was a very enjoyable day and I’m very pleased that we had businesses here from a variety of sectors, from professional services to manufacturing and production.
“It was also very pleasing to see companies of different sizes attend, and we had everything from two people operations to large companies with hundreds of employees.
“The insights shared with everybody were inspirational, informative and certainly provided food for thought as we continue to operate in what are very uncertain times, fuelled by, dare I say it, Brexit.”
Changes to tariffs on imported goods, Brexit-proofing contracts and dealing with complications which the UK’s exit from the EU may bring about were all topics on the agenda in a session led by Cartmells. There were also a number of sector-specific focuses, taking in the areas of agriculture, food and drink and haulage, while employment law and the effect Brexit might have on companies in the county was explored.
Undoubtedly, it was the tour around the technology-laden base of motorsport giants M-Sport which stole the show. Delegates enjoyed a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what makes the world-beating company tick. From a museum which showcases some of the greatest cars the company has ever built, to a clinical laboratory where engines are meticulously stripped back, cleaned, and rebuilt, visitors were given a unique insight into a global industry plying its trade from a remote location in Cumbria.
For M-Sport business development manager, Andrew Wheatley, opening the doors of the company HQ to visiting delegates is a pleasure. He said: “As a business, not so many people understand what we do and the breadth of engineering facilities we’ve got here at Dovenby are potentially more than people might first have imagined.
“One of the things people will regularly say is that they thought we simply modified road cars, but the reality is we build them from the ground up. One of the key points here is that is those engineering resources, whether it be design, manufacturing or assembly are transferable into other markets.
“So as part of our expansion of Dovenby Hall and M-Sport, we are looking to expand the manufacturing and design areas. In reality, high-quality design and manufacturing is required in various different fields. Whether it is defence, civil engineering, nuclear or whatever, there are requirements for people to design and manufacture components, so part of the process of this kind of activity is an outreach for us to help people understand the broad breadth of the facilities that we can offer.
“And of course it is always a pleasure to welcome companies and our partners into Dovenby Hall to use the conference facilities, take advantage of the tour and enjoy the environment that we are very lucky to operate from.”