Mayor Ros Jones' pledge to ‘buy local’ is paying dividends with Doncaster based companies projected to win over £108m of council work in 2016/17.
Despite reduced council budgets the amount of work awarded to firms in the borough has increased by over £27m since 2013/14 and now represents 68% of all council spend.
Commenting on the news, Mayor Jones said: “I was determined Doncaster firms could bid for suitable contracts and by understanding what is involved in the procurement process have every opportunity to win work.
“We have put on workshops, organised events and provided support for business owners so they understand the rules, can find available contracts and know how to prepare their tender bids. This work is certainly paying off with amount of work being won by local firms increasing by a staggering 34% in the last four years.
“When I became Mayor back in 2013 the council spent more money with firms located outside of borough so I am obviously delighted this position has been turned on its head. The vast majority of work now goes to local firms, which supports the local economy and helps stimulate jobs and growth. I am committed to continuing our efforts to support local business where ever we can.”
To make this possible, Doncaster Council’s procurement team has trained about 130 businesses on how to do business with the public sector and procurement rules have been changed to include local suppliers.
Working with the Business Doncaster team, supplier engagement events have enabled firms to meet public sector buyers, while other public sector agencies in Doncaster have also been encouraged to ‘buy local’.
One local firm to have benefited is Emergency Response Training Ltd. Based at Canberra House, Finningley, close to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, they have supplied the council with appropriate Health and Safety training.
Debbie Pearson, Managing Director of ER Training, said: “The procurement advice we have received has been first class. It has helped us understand what is expected in a tender document and has seen our company successfully win work with the council and other organisations.”
Dan Fell, Chief Executive Officer, Doncaster Chamber, said: “Doncaster Chamber believes that it is important for local organisations in the public and private sectors to do business with each other to generate new supply chains and keep work local where possible. For many years the Chamber has encouraged partners to ‘Buy Doncaster’ and, as such, is delighted that Doncaster Council has such a high percentage of its good and services locally.”
If you are interested in finding out how you can become a supplier of the council or need procurement support go to: www.doncaster.gov.uk/supplyingthecouncil
The council’s procurement team will be at Mexborough Business Centre on the Wednesday 8 February from 9.30am to 3.30pm for a Supplier Engagement Event and on Stand 91 at Business Showcase 2017 at Doncaster Racecourse, Thursday 16 February from 10am to 4pm.
Dan Fell, added: “Doncaster Chamber provides and supports lots of platforms to help Doncaster firms to interact. The Chamber would encourage Doncaster firms – large and small – to engage with events of this nature and to support the development of local opportunities and supply chains as these leads to local growth and jobs for Doncaster people.”