News - 01 March 2016

Online portal backed by D2N2 opens up opportunities for contractors

An online ‘portal’ giving local construction and property companies more opportunities to bid to take on major construction projects has been launched, with the aid of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Local Supply Chain’ (LSC) is a collaborative online portal which allows public sector organisations, including local authorities, to highlight their upcoming building projects. Construction and property sector firms can then access that information and know what they need to do to bid for the contracts.

LSC aims to avoid public sector organisations being unable to find the right companies to do their work, meaning vital projects are delayed, and contractors in the region missing out on valuable contracts.

It is also looking to aid the better planning of skills and training within the construction sector – one of D2N2’s eight key sectors – to avoid shortages in skilled construction workers. Currently, thousands of vacancies in construction across the UK are proving hard to fill.

LSC has been developed by the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) and its partners, and D2N2.

empa is a local authority-led initiative, set up in 2008 to streamline the procurement and delivery of public sector building work and property maintenance. Its partners include firms such as GF Tomlinson, Ashe Construction, the Woodhead Group, Clegg Construction, Jeakins Weir, Morgan Sindall and Wates Construction.

The LSC intiaitive was launched at the annual East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) Forum, held at Leicester’s National Space Centre on Friday (February 26). Around 120 local authority, and construction and property firms’ representatives were at the event.

Alan Coole, Head of empa, introduced the Local Supply Chain online portal to the Forum audience, saying the East Midlands was the first region in the UK to adopt it. The LSC portal is now being rolled out nationwide.

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “D2N2 is working closely with the Local Supply Chain as we believe it could provide significant insight into local procurement, encourage main contractors to look and buy locally and take on local sub-contractors when delivering our key infrastructure projects.

“D2N2 has adopted the principles of the Social Value Act 2013, not least through the D2N2 ‘Procurement Charter’ launched at our 2015 Annual Conference. This means that, where practical, we want to ensure investment is maximised to promote local supply chains, labour agreements, and to raise skills and apprenticeships.”

Alan Coole, Head of empa, added: “At the beginning of the year we pledged to help SMEs grow. Local Supply Chain is a simple tool that will help our public sector clients manage their budgets and Local Enterprise Partnerships deliver targets set out in their local growth plans.”

The software behind the LSC portal was developed by Firefly Online, based in Grantham.

For further information about the Local Supply Chain portal see website www.localsupplychain.co.uk

More details about empa’s work can be found at website www.em-pa.org.uk/

To see how the D2N2 is further supporting the key sector of construction see its link at www.d2n2lep.org/Construction

Media wanting further information on the work of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership can contact D2N2 Communications Officer Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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