Construction companies offered a route to growth thanks to Business Durham support

Construction companies across County Durham are being offered professional support to help them grow and secure new business.

Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) is a European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) programme offering business support to SMEs in County Durham.

Since it was established in 2016 DBOP has run sector specific support programmes focusing on business areas identified as having high growth potential, such as childcare, manufacturing and engineering, and the creative industries.

This programme builds on the success of the Routes to Contract Success strand of support that DBOP delivered in 2019.  53 businesses took part in the programme last year and many have reported positive outcomes; eight companies have secured new contacts with a total value of over £2 million and nine companies have secured a place on potentially lucrative procurement frameworks.

Managed by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council, DBOP is now launching the DBOP Construction – Routes to Success Programme designed to help businesses and those in their supply chain win more public and private sector contracts.

The two-year programme will be delivered by B2B North and will include workshop events such as ‘Meet the Buyers’, expert briefings, and one-to-one support sessions.

The aim of the programme is to help companies understand the procurement process, sharpen their approach to bidding for new contracts, and win new contracts and sales orders.

It will build on the proven DBOP Routes to Contract Success formula, which has helped companies review and develop their business development strategies, particularly in sourcing new opportunities, positioning themselves for upcoming tenders, and honing tender writing.

The DBOP Construction – Routes to Success Programme is looking to engage with businesses through construction and its supply chain, also including all specialist consultancy, supply, and support services through every stage of planning, build and fitting out across all types of construction project.

Sarah Slaven, Business Durham’s interim Managing Director, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for constructions companies from across County Durham to benefit from professional advice and support from industry experts. The DBOP Construction – Routes to Success Programme is all about increasing confidence, ambition and helping businesses find opportunities to enable them to grow and succeed.

“As Government announcements have highlighted recently, infrastructure developments and building projects are going to be an important part of economic recovery, which will provide opportunities for businesses in the construction supply chain.   I encourage all County Durham construction SMEs to take advantage of the scheme to ensure they are well placed for future contract opportunities.”

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic recovery, said: “I am delighted we are launching the Routes to Success Programme at time when this support is more needed than ever. As we enter the critical recovery phase from the coronavirus pandemic, it is vital we support businesses to adapt and prosper and this programme is just one of the ways we can do this. Winning new contracts not only benefits the individual businesses but the supply chains they support, which further boosts the economy and protects and create jobs.”

Garry Stone, Managing Director of B2B North said: “This support could not have come at a better time.  Construction embraces so many businesses across works, professional services and all types of maintenance, and from major projects to schools, domestic properties, and roads and infrastructure. We are working to ensure that businesses right across the County are connected to opportunities and provided with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully secure and support contracts.”

The online launch event takes place on 30th July at 10am.  It is an introductory session giving companies the opportunity to learn more about the programme and find out how their businesses can benefit.

The Durham Business Opportunities Programme is a six-year programme for SMEs running up until November 2022.

To find out more about the programme and to book your place at the launch event visit or email

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