04 April 2008 | Paul Snell
Cutting the cost of procurement in construction is the primary goal of a new group launched by The East Midlands Centre of Excellence (EMCE).
Fifteen local authorities in the region have joined the East Midlands Property Alliance (EMPA) and will provide collaborative procurement, training and development, develop supply chains in the area and advise on property management.
The total spend of the councils joining the group is estimated at around £600 million a year. Framework agreements developed by the alliance will support construction and maintenance projects worth between £350,000 and £20 million. The alliance believes it can save around 10 per cent compared with traditional procurement routes.
Chris Allison, director of the EMCE, said supporting local firms was one of the group's prime goals. "The EMPA will not only help the local authorities who join, but will also support the regional economy and supply chain by guaranteeing work for smaller local suppliers and contractors who have just as much to offer as the national or multinational companies," he said.
The EMPA hopes to speed up the procurement process for projects such as new schools and leisure facilities by working collaboratively. The EMCE has already launched a similar group to help with road construction and maintenance (Web news, 16 July 2007).