Local procurement shakeup to tackle construction SMEs’ recession fears

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LHC has restructured its regional branches to help councils and construction SMEs avoid some of the worst economic inequalities post-Covid

A regional shakeup of procurement expertise for local authorities and housing associations in England is aiming to help councils and construction SMEs avoid some of the worst economic inequalities.

The emphasis on highly localised procurement support is a major driver for LHC which has restructured its regional branches to provide more tailored technical advice to its public sector partners and construction suppliers.

Preparing the industry post-crisis

John Skivington, group director of LHC, said: “We’ve adapted our regional structure in preparation for the industry coming out of this current crisis.

“After the last recession, we saw how economic inequality impacted each region of the UK, particularly affecting smaller building firms and  construction trades who found it very hard to win good local contracts from public sector clients in competition against much larger firms.

“Unfortunately, coming out of the coronavirus crisis, we expect the country to experience similar issues. That’s why LHC is putting all of the support measures in place now to ensure that when lockdown ends, projects and new tenders can get started as soon as possible, and high quality local construction suppliers can get access to a wide range of local public sector frameworks.”

Procurement support

Councils and social landlords previously covered by LHC’s Central Region hub will now be able to access procurement support from either the Consortium Procurement Construction (CPC) or the LHC London and South East hub, depending on location.

CPC, a partnership with LHC and Northern Housing Consortium, is now LHC’s largest regional hub covering the Midlands, Suffolk, Norfolk and the North of England. It has been divided into sub-regions – East, West and South – to ensure that organisations will have access to a dedicated team of local procurement experts whenever they need them. The team will be able to give guidance at all stages of a project’s life cycle.

The LHC London and South East hub will now cover the home counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.

LHC first moved towards a more regional approach to its procurement offering in 2014. This latest change sees LHC divided into five main hubs, each with its own network of local contacts: South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA)Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA)Welsh Procurement Alliance (WPA)CPC and LHC.

To speak to a local LHC procurement expert about your project, visit the LHC website.

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