A database for sharing offers of PPE and return to work equipment has been launched by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to support the reopening of businesses.
A simplified directory was set up in March and this has played a key role in the supply of PPE to frontline workers in the health and social care sector. On the back of that success, and thanks to the production and supply of equipment by local companies, the LEP has now expanded the service.
More than 1,200 products – from face masks, visors and aprons to sanitiser and other return to work equipment – have already been listed by around 250 suppliers, many of which are based in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Entrepreneurial businesses across the region began producing PPE as a way of continuing to operate and pay their staff during the pandemic, while at the same time helping to meet the desperate demand.
Organisations based in Norfolk and Suffolk can log in here to access the database after a short verification process.
Chris Starkie, chief executive of the LEP, said: “Whether you are a small business needing a small batch of masks or a care provider requiring a large amount of stock, you can log in to this digital database and find the PPE you need,” he said.
“Helping businesses to protect their employees and their customers as they return to work is going to be key to the recovery effort and having all these products in one place will support them in this important phase.
“It is also a way of the LEP rewarding the local businesses which have manufactured these desperately needed items during this emergency and helped slow the spread of Coronavirus.”
Panel Graphic, a screen display manufacturer based in Loddon, has remained open during lockdown and produced 10,000 face shields a day for frontline workers. The LEP provided contingency funding to support the initiative.
BT’s research and innovation hub at Adastral Park, near Ipswich, was quickly transformed into a production and co-ordination centre for PPE. As a result, thousands of face shields have been delivered to hospitals, care homes, schools, dentists and other organisations, locally and in other parts of the country.
Requests to view the database are moderated and granted on a case by case basis. For support accessing the data, companies can contact the New Anglia Growth Hub on 0300 333 6536 or [email protected].
For businesses sharing offers of products or services, the LEP will be requesting Companies House information, as well as details about stock and production capacity, and how products conform to required standards.