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22 March 2013 | Anna Reynolds
Construction developers in London have been urged to buy 10 per cent of their services from local boroughs, a move that could contribute more than £50 million to the local economy.
The City of London Corporation is encouraging construction firms in the financial square mile around St Paul’s Cathedral, to purchase goods and services worth 10 per cent of their spend from local SMEs. The authority forecasts the Local Procurement Charter for City Developers has the potential to contribute millions to the local economy and boost employment opportunities.
Since it was introduced in 2012, the charter has been supported by local procurement clauses in planning agreements and along with a local purchasing toolkit, it provides advice to City businesses and directs them to local supplier databases.
In addition, it will boost 15,000 small businesses based in the seven boroughs bordering the square mile, some of which are in the 10 per cent most deprived in England.
Galliard Construction, responsible for the office conversion of Red Lion Court into residential homes, procured more than 10 per cent of its labour, materials, plant hire and waste management locally. Ian Hetherington, construction planning manager for Galliard Homes said: “At the beginning of the project we estimated a total local procurement target of 10 per cent, but the standard of the local suppliers was such that we were committed further funds locally and exceeded this by almost a third.”
The corporation’s local recruitment initiative is also working with developers to drive recruitment from neighbouring communities. It estimated more than 600 Londoners will be employed or receive training on building sites over the next year.
A project by British Land and Blackstone – the new London headquarters for banking group UBS – has secured jobs for 41 people and training for 34, since work began in 2011.
Mark Boleat, chairman of the policy and resources committee at the City of London Corporation, said in a statement: “Maximising employment and business opportunities is at the heart of what we do to help those living near the financial Square Mile area. Local people have the right to benefit from the local reinvigorated construction industry, and the construction industry benefits from the wealth of skills and talent on our doorstep.”