The brief

During 2021, C.Co has worked collaboratively with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council to formulate an enterprise strategy. The aim was to build on the Council’s reputation as innovative and high performing while ensuring value for money for local residents by mainstreaming commercially enterprising behaviours across the whole Council.

C.Co’s approach

To meet its delivery requirements the Council is reliant on business rates, council tax and creating additional revenue streams to support the services it has to provide. It is therefore seeking other opportunities to become more enterprising and commercially minded. The Council already has a track record of success in this area, with the creation of NABCEL (Nuneaton and Bedworth Community Enterprises Limited) which was created in 2013 and already works effectively across a number of business streams, from gas appliance servicing and property management to cleaning.

The Council’s ambition is to remain resilient to changing environments while continuing to deliver essential services, at the same time as driving forward an entrepreneurial culture, protect and grow quality core services driven by customer need and to support the continued regeneration of the borough. The biggest challenge for the Council is to become effectively commercial across the whole organisation while always retaining its social value principles.

The first step for the C.Co team was to hold workshops with the senior leadership team and the wider management team to discuss and agree the priorities for an enterprise strategy. The workshops’ primary purpose was to identify any barriers and opportunities as well as the change in culture that would be required to build a sustainable financial future. The team also met with the new political leadership, to understand their priorities and ambitions. They had taken over the administration just months earlier and were faced with the challenge of meeting their manifesto commitments and driving rapid change.

The outcome

From C.Co’s point of view it was important that the strategy that was developed was precisely honed to Nuneaton and Bedworth’s specific requirements, with a language and tone that fitted the way the Council worked and helped in identifying and addressing its particular priorities.

As with all C.Co’s projects, solutions always have to be evidence-driven. Taking time to develop a strong evidence base proves invaluable in the longer term, to support decision making, provide a strong foundation and reduce the risk of failure. This often means gaining an understanding of the full and true cost of delivering a service and an assessment of the market opportunities. Robust business cases have to be presented, with key stakeholders actively engaged throughout. As long as there has been an evidence-driven approach, there should be no fear of failure.

The strategy C.Co helped the Council develop establishes:

  • the context in which the Council is operating
  • a vision for commercial enterprise
  • a set of core principles
  • what this means for how employees will work
  • short, medium and long term measures of success. These will be developed into SMART measures in a ‘living document’ delivery plan that will constantly evolve as opportunities emerge.

“We felt that C.Co really listened to us both as an organisation and as individuals.  They worked with us to bring those views together to understand our ambitions, local needs and context. With their help we have a strategy that will help us deliver greater sustainability to provide the services that our customers need for the future.”

Dawn Dawson, Director of Regeneration and Housing

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