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Scottish Borders Council and Supplier Development Programme recognised in GO Excellence in Public Procurement Awards Scotland 2020

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Scottish Borders Council and the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) have been announced as a Finalist in the Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards Scotland 2020.

The partners are one of three finalists in the ‘Best Procurement Delivery’ category and the winner will be announced at a virtual ceremony on Friday, 6 November 2020.

Scottish Borders Council is a finalist for the procurement of a multi-trade, framework that delivers a reactive repairs and maintenance service to a wide ranging property estate of over 800 buildings, with an estimated £4.7million annual budget for repairs and maintenance.

The framework is used on a day-to-day basis to deliver efficient and effective repairs and planned maintenance services.

Successful delivery of this framework was reliant on engagement with local SMEs, some of which were new to the Council.

Scottish Borders Council worked with the Supplier Development Programme to engage with stakeholders and suppliers prior to the procurement - to promote the tender opportunity, align and deliver free tender training and provide additional support.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance, said: “Following our work with the Supplier Development Programme and the provision of support to local contractors we received over a hundred bids, of which the vast majority were successful.

“Of these, over 80 per cent are based in the area, which is a fantastic result for the local supply chain and for the local economy.

“It is really important that the Council supports local businesses whenever we can, keeping resources within the region, so I’d really encourage Borders firms to register and get alerts when the council publicises its available contracts.”

SDP training was delivered in Newtown St. Boswells to 51 local micro, small and medium sized contractors.

After attending Supplier Development Programme training, 81% of contractors reported that they felt much more confident that their tender would be stronger, and the same number felt more positive about potentially working with the Council. Crucially, the majority said they were more likely to bid than they might have been without the training.

Gillian Cameron, SDP Programme Manager, said: “In total, 100% of the local SMEs attending SDP training that bid won a place on the framework, which ultimately contributes to business growth as well as local community wealth building in the Scottish Borders.

“In 2018, 59.2% of employment in the Borders was in small businesses with under 50 staff – significantly higher than Scotland’s national average of 35.8%. Participation in this framework by local SMEs was therefore of crucial importance given the importance of this sector to the local economy.

“The Supplier Development Programme is always happy to support our partners’ procurement exercises which all aim to deliver social value and keep public money local for longer through the engagement of locally-based Scottish SMEs and supported businesses.”

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