A NEW agreement signed by Bradford Council will make sure local companies are used for contracts as often as possible.

The Council has launched a framework agreement for construction contractors - which means more spending is made locally within the district.

The Construction Contractors framework covers different categories of work which cannot be carried out by council staff, including jobs such as Asbestos removal and roofing but also supplement Council tradespeople in, carpentry and joinery, plastering, and electrical work and many more jobs.

The new framework has been designed by the Council in order to encourage and make it simpler for business and SMEs locally to have the opportunity to carry out work for the Council.

In the last four years, the Council has spent £18m with construction contractors and over £10m of this has been spent with Bradford-based businesses and SMEs.

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The Council held a supplier engagement day in late 2019 to encourage local suppliers to join the framework. The framework was divided into value bands to make it easier for small businesses to pitch for work, and the evaluation methodology was aligned to permit accessibility to suppliers.

The new framework was awarded to 69 suppliers, 52 of these are in the Leeds City Region (which includes Bradford) with 29 based in Bradford District, plus a few others that, whilst their head office is elsewhere, have a trading base within the region.

Leader of Bradford Council, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, said: “At Bradford Council we are committed to making sure that when we do have to spend money on essential work that the money goes into the local economy where possible.

“Our overall objective is to spend more locally to create more local jobs. It’s important that we provide local businesses and SMEs with the best possible opportunity to bid for and win contracts.

“We are committed to finding innovative new ways to engage with our suppliers and this framework is an example of how we are leading the way on this. We have already been contacted by a number of other local authorities who want to find out more about our approach.

“The new framework was delivered against the back-drop of the COVID-19 crisis and it is encouraging that so many local businesses have responded. Spending locally and encouraging local businesses will be essential to support local economic recovery.”

Ian Westlake, Head of Procurement at Bradford Council, said: “I’m really pleased that a number of suppliers have engaged with this procurement procedure and even more so that 75 per cent of those successful are from the Leeds City Region. It is no small undertaking establishing a framework agreement of this size but moving forward will give the Council a mechanism for engaging with the local supply chain as first tier suppliers.”