13 July 2000 | Cathy Hayward
Suppliers to the construction industry in Hull are joining a forum to discuss how local firms can get a bigger slice of the city's expected construction boom, writes Cathy Hayward.
They will meet for the first time with city officials, contractors and manufacturers this month to map out a plan.
Kingston upon Hull City Council sold half of its privately owned telephone company, Kingston Communications, last year and will spend £700 million of the proceeds on construction over the next seven years.
The newly formed Hull Construction Forum, which represents all areas of the construction industry, will work to set up partnerships and establish workloads for major city construction projects that will run until 2010.
The partnerships will consist of local suppliers, construction firms and manufacturers, who will work together to develop competitive tenders.
Ed Jenkinson, project director for Hull Local Purchasing Initiative (HLPI), a group set up to promote the local construction industry, believes that the forum is essential for local industry.
"With all the construction activity undertaken in Hull, it is imperative that local contractors, suppliers and staff are given the opportunity to undertake much of the work," he said.
The HLPI has been in place for for seven years, but local firms have complained that the city's competitive tendering policy meant they could not compete effectively with larger, national firms.
"The council's best-value policy, along with the work of the construction forum, will ensure that local companies are able to compete on a level playing field," added Jenkinson.