Cornwall contracts YTKO for major European-funded business collaboration project

April 2009

The contract is part of an ambitious package of investments totalling £25 million that are aimed at supporting business growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Almost £1,350,000 of ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence investment has been approved for the 3 year contract with the remainder coming from the South West RDA, which will support 380 businesses.

Collaboration networks encourage businesses to meet and work together to plan and pursue market opportunities that they would be unable to do on their own.

Based on YTKO’s Norfolk Network, a successful business innovation community active and trusted in a county with many similarities to Cornwall, the Cornwall Business Collaboration network stimulates and accelerates the local economy with joint working and professional support services. The six-strong management team helps companies of all sizes and across all sectors, informing and supporting them in effective collaborative working, especially to attract new customers and accelerate sales revenues.

Adding to local networks

Working closely with Business Link, existing networks, and sector-specific organisations, YTKO’s Cornwall team are able to carry out new sales and marketing initiatives, and help new product and service development for Cornwall companies working in partnership.

The YTKO service also provides comprehensive collaboration software. All companies starting a joint project have free access to an easy-to-use but powerful online tool-kit, for project management, communications, document management and time-recording.

Peter White, YTKO’s founder, led the team that won this innovative and ambitious programme:

“We have years of experience forming, expanding and developing vibrant business networks, and supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to grow and expand

YTKO programme director, Helen Trudgeon says:

“We’re delighted to be able to access this world-class expertise and knowledge in Cornwall, to bring together businesses of all sizes for mutual success.”

“Collaboration pays real dividends to companies working together, not just in new sales, but also develops skills, processes and manageable growth. Working hand-in-hand with ambitious Cornish firms, my team is ready now to research and develop new opportunities, nationally and internationally.”

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said:

“This ERDF Convergence investment for business – one of a number coming on stream throughout 2009 – encourages, through specialist advice and support, our ambitious businesses to work together to develop and exploit new and existing markets. In the present economic climate this type of support for business is particularly important as they seek to maintain healthy order books.”

Harry Hart is Operations Director at Fire Crest Fire Protection – Cornwall’s leading fire protection company. He was one of the panel that selected YTKO for the contract. Mr Hart said:

“YTKO have a proven track record in rural parts of the UK, helping businesses of all types to gain good business. They have shown they are passionate about strengthening our economy through cooperation. Partnered with a deep understanding of the local business community, I look forward to seeing them assist businesses to effectively work together in Cornwall, and promote our combined skills and creativity.”

YTKO is headquartered in Cambridge. It is Customer First accredited, and the holder of the Prowess Flagship Awards across all its services. The £1.5m contract will accelerate YTKO’s continuing growth, and a new regional office in Truro has already been established, alongside those in Yorkshire, Norfolk, France and Greece.

Convergence

The Cornwall Business Collaboration Network project is part of Convergence, a multi-million pound European support programme designed to increase employment, skills and economic performance. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly qualified for Convergence in 2005 because economic performance between 2000 and 2002 was below 75% of the European Union average.

For more information:

Convergence Partnership:

Clare Morgan, Media Relations Manager
Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly
Castle House, Pydar Street, Truro TR1 2UD

T 01872 241379 F 01872 241388 Mob: 07973 813647
cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk
www.convergencecornwall.com

YTKO:

Helen Trudgeon, Programme Director
Library House, Green Street, Truro, TR1 2LH

Mob: 07920 197388 helen.trudgeon@ytko.com