NW business briefs: Cardinal Maritime; Rosebud Finance; Electricity North West; Northcoders; Mansell Building Solutions

Brian Hay

Manchester-based logistics services provider, Cardinal Global Logistics is marking 25 years in business by transitioning to an employee-ownership model – making the firm the biggest employee-owned company of its kind in the world, it said.

Launched in Eccles in 1998 with a £15,000 business loan, Cardinal has since blossomed into an international firm with more than 40 offices, 6,000 clients and revenues exceeding £500m. It is now celebrating its quarter-century by creating an environment where every employee has the same opportunity to become a partner.

In addition to financial benefits, employees will have input regarding the direction of the Cardinal Partnership, helping to shape its future with an increased sense of ownership over their roles in the business. The employee-owned nature of the business also means more open and transparent communication channels, as partners have a direct stake in the overall success of the firm.

The Cardinal Partnership merges two brands, Far Logistics and Cardinal Global Logistics, and the group has earned recognition in the logistics sector for its tech-powered approach, transparency, innovation and determination to deliver exceptional service and value.

CEO Brian Hay said: “Our decision to become an employee-owned business will be transformational. We believe that excellence and dedication should be rewarded, and we have some of the most talented operators in our industry. During our first 25 years as a business, we have been able to take the company from a £15,000 investment to one of the UK’s most respected and sizable logistics businesses. Undoubtedly, this transition will allow us to take our business to the next level and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”

Cardinal worked with investment banking company, Houlihan Lokey, to pursue a liquidity event for shareholders when establishing its employee ownership trust. Gareth Owen, capital markets director at Houlihan Lokey, said: “Cardinal is a great example of delivering strong growth whilst maintaining its core values.”


Jonathan Nelson

A Thornton-Cleveleys-based electric vehicle charge point and fleet provider has its sights set on expansion over the coming months after receiving a £40,000 loan from Lancashire County Council’s Rosebud Finance.

Set up by Carmel and Jonathan Adshead, who have a combined total of 60 years’ experience in the motor trade industry, Leki Cars provides businesses with electric cars for their employees, delivered through a salary sacrifice scheme. It said it is also the only company in the UK offering a fully-funded solution for the supply and installation of commercial EV chargers.

Following the support from Rosebud, Jonathan and Carmel plan to expand their business in coming months by bringing on new members of staff. They also plan to further their digital impact with the creation of a bright, modern website to cope with increased traffic as demand for the business and electric vehicle market grows. Carmel Adshead, director of operations, said: “It’s brilliant to have the financial support from Rosebud, especially as we enter a period of growth.”

Jonathan Nelson, senior loan manager, at Rosebud said: “The Rosebud fund exists to support the economy in Lancashire, creating jobs and encouraging businesses to choose the region as their base. Having provided a large amount of loans in the last year, this highlights the extraordinary potential of local businesses like Leki Cars and the effect that the fund has had driving growth.”

Cllr Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth at Lancashire County Council, said: “It’s great to see the impact that Rosebud has on businesses in Lancashire like Leki Cars. The fund plays a crucial role in helping to establish start-ups, enabling job creation and further business growth and it is essential businesses continue to seek advice in order to enable long-term growth throughout the region.”


Victoria Turnham

Significant funding has been awarded to the North West to tackle energy efficiency, decarbonisation and energy resilience challenges across the region.

Engineers at Stockport-based Electricity North West will use the funding to carry out early feasibility studies into three potential ground-breaking projects which will help accelerate the region to net zero. The power network operator has been awarded more than £427,000 to explore in more detail Net Zero Terrace, REWIRE and RetroMeter, projects that could bring huge cost savings and carbon savings to residents and businesses.

Victoria Turnham, Electricity North West’s head of network innovation, said: “As a region, we’re seeing more customers start to adopt low carbon technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicles and it’s our role to ensure the network is ready for people to do that. We’re one of the most digital electricity networks in the world and we’re constantly looking at ways to operate more smartly and efficiently. Each of the three projects could provide benefits to customers in the North West and I look forward to seeing the results.”

Net Zero Terrace will demonstrate how to decarbonise an entire terraced street using a smart local energy system that is integrated with the network but is also optimised and affordable to consumers and easily replicable across Great Britain. REWIRE (REsidential Whole system Integrated REsilience) will aim to improve the resilience of the network by installing technology in domestic properties which will help provide greater flexibility on the network. REWIRE will also help reduce customer bills due to the reduced costs associated with reinforcing the network.

And RetroMeter will examine the energy and cost savings benefits of retrofit energy efficiency measures in a residential building, such as fitting loft insulation and draft proofing. The outcomes of the scheme aim to improve access to retrofit energy efficiency measures, leading to an increase in uptake. This will reduce energy consumption and energy bills.


Northcoders, the Manchester-based independent provider of training programmes for software coding and data engineering, has launched a new Gender Diversity Fund that has been created to empower cisgender women and transgender, non-binary, and intersex people of all genders who want to forge a career in tech.

The Northcoders Gender Diversity Fund has been designed to provide financial support for living expenses to individuals attending its 13-week coding bootcamp. The core aims of the 10 £1,500 grants are to remove barriers to entry and to empower as diverse a range of people as possible to pursue a career in tech.

Anyone would who like to apply for the Gender Diversity Fund needs to sign up for the July bootcamp between May 2, and June 20, and select the funding option on the application form. After the closing date, 10 people will then be selected at random to receive the bursaries. The successful recipients will be able to study remotely or in-person at one of Northcoders’ campuses which are located in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Birmingham.

Sam Caine, Northcoders COO, said: “We have run several diversity funds over the years in an effort to make Northcoders more accessible to underrepresented groups. However, our courses are now fully funded by the DfE so it was time to revisit things to ensure this new bursary is as strong, targeted and relevant as possible – especially as diversity and inclusion are a big part of who we are.

“At a time when technology is defining what it means to be human, it’s also crucial that we ensure our future is built by people from all walks of life, and that people from all walks of life have the opportunity to be a part of that process.”


Angela Mansell

Bolton-based Mansell Building Solutions has secured a place on the Off-Site Home Alliance (OSHA), a network of Registered Housing Providers, local authorities and strategic partners committed to delivering high quality, affordable homes through Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).

A specialist in off-site framing solutions, Mansell has been appointed within the CAT 2 (Panelised) Suppliers lot, comprising eight contractors. With 10,000 MMC affordable homes targeted for delivery nationally with maximum Design for Manufacturing Assembly (DfMA) insight, the network aims to ensure homes perform in real terms, are ‘innovation securitised’ and of exceptional quality.

Administrated by Manchester-based Great Places Housing Group, the £2bn, four-year framework appoints delivery partners based on technical competence, price and commitment to social value.

Angela Mansell, Mansell Building Solutions managing director, said: “Modular housing is a quick and sustainable building solution that can help address the UK housing crisis. We are very pleased to have been appointed as an approved supplier and will continue to do our bit in delivering new affordable homes. In addition, we’re a family-run business with a strong commitment to social value, so we pride ourselves on delivering homes for local people, by local people and, whilst it’s a simple aim, it’s one we think could have a long-lasting legacy for the communities within which we build.”

Matthew Harrison, chief executive of OSHA member Great Places Housing Group, said: “We were pleased with the positive response from the market and received high quality proposals and substantial social value pledges for our communities. We are now looking forward to mobilising the framework and working together on new projects to realise our ambitions of delivering much needed affordable homes.”