COVID-19 has placed an unprecedented strain on the UK economy. The Office for National Statistics reported an economic contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020. Although there have been some green shoots of recovery as sectors of the economy have been unlocked, it is clear the damage of this economic shock will be felt for many years to come.
The public sector is facing the significant task of driving an economic recovery that will deliver growth to local economies as we move beyond the current crisis. The UK government has already made a pledge to level up the regional inequalities in the domestic economy. This regional levelling up will be placed at the heart of their future growth strategies. A key focus of this will be the construction sector through home building, improving the environment, contributing to net zero goals and injecting growth opportunities into communities across the country.
The government will also bring forward the English Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper detailing how the UK government can support sustainable economic recovery, as part of the National Infrastructure Plan. Across the public sector, organisations are challenged with opening project opportunities into local economies. Engaging with a local supply chain can often pose its own challenges as SMEs do not have access to the resource of their larger competitors. In order to address this, the Cabinet Office issued the Procurement Policy Note 06/20, placing social value at the heart of the awarding criteria of central government. However, in many cases, the public sector has struggled to effectively follow a policy of progressive procurement and maximise the social value in their procurement. This is partly down to a lack of expertise internally and knowledge of the catalogue of SMEs available in the regions they operate within.
Public sector organisations must look to diversify their supply chains and proactively engage with their local economies to maximise the multiplier effect felt internally. The public sector must now use its construction and infrastructure projects as the catalysts to stimulate growth in the short term and provide the framework for recovery and the future regeneration of the post-COVID economy.
Bloom offers a rapid and fully compliant route to market with a proven track record in empowering the public sector to deliver on their social value goals. In the past year, £97 million worth of projects have been awarded to local suppliers and those numbers continue to grow on a daily basis.
Through our pre-accredited supply chain, public sector buyers can access a Housing and Communities category of spend with the capability to deliver works associated with the development of Green Homes and support the public sector’s net zero goals.
Bloom have facilitated the successful delivery of expansive infrastructure projects across the country on behalf of the public sector. With a specific category of spend devoted to highways and transport projects, Bloom can ensure compliance and a full audit trail of spend for the public sector. This allows them to focus on the wider strategic aims of these vital projects that will deliver economic growth in the future.
When utilising our dynamic marketplace, the public sector can benefit from a diverse range of architects, civil engineers and cost consultants with the capability to work either remotely or on-site. These suppliers range from VCSEs and local SMEs to established organisations already doing business in the marketplace, ensuring that public sector bodies always have the right providers available to match their complex requirements. If the supplier you are looking to work with is not currently accredited, Bloom can rapidly onboard them and make a direct award, giving you a compliant and efficient route to project delivery.
Our outcomes-based model allows us to deliver a fully managed end-to-end service, delivering efficiencies and cost savings for your organisation and ensuring you only ever pay for what is delivered. With even greater pressure on budgets and the need for public organisations to drive the economic recovery caused by the COVID-19 crisis in the coming months, managing outcomes is essential to ensuring a cost-effective recovery programme. From asset management, delivery, planning and development through to structural engineering, our category experts work with you to develop a gold-standard specification that draws upon our experience of successfully engaging with the best-in-class suppliers, both locally and nationally.