SPA SignalsGrowing Presence By Securing 100th Partner

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Scotland’s leading procurement solution provider, dedicated to benefitting Scotland’s social housing and public buildings, is revealing that it has secured its landmark 100th Partner. 

Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA) provides Partners – such as councils, housing associations, universities and emergency services – with access to innovative procurement solutions, which aim to drive social value by streamlining construction, refurbishment and maintenance contracts. Their Partner organisations delivered more than £160m worth of projects in 2018-19 alone through their procurement solutions. 

Formed in 2016, SPA is hailing the sign-up of its 100th Partner as an overwhelming endorsement of its key role in helping public sector organisations to work with Scotland’s supply chain to deliver projects better, faster and more cost-effectively.

In 2018-19 (the last available annual review), SPA worked with 43 Partners to deliver more than 220 projects which represented a total value of £160m – a 50% jump on its performance on 2017-18. Projects range in size and scope from the £16m Balloch Campus new school development for West Dunbartonshire Council to an £18,000 door replacement programme for Hawthorne Housing Co-operative.

The Scottish Government has committed to the delivery of 50,000 new homes, of which 35,000 are to be affordable housing, by the end of the next parliament. SPA frameworks will be used by its partners to deliver more than 3500 homes in Scotland – 10% of the Government’s 2021 target for social rent housing.

SPA Director Clive Feeney said “SPA has team of dedicated experts firmly focused on championing best practice and ensuring Partners can benefit from access to specialist procurement solutions that deliver social value in their communities.

He said: “SPA frameworks provide our Partners with a quick and easy route to market – saving time, resources and money.

“We share the aspirations of Partners, suppliers, residents and other community groups to create better buildings and homes across Scotland to ‘futureproof’ the country.

“Reaching the milestone 100th Partner cements the important link SPA has with Scotland’s public organisations, local businesses and local communities.

“And the scale and success of the works undertaken on SPA projects to date, underlines the vital position SPA holds in Scotland’s supply chain network.

“This all provides a clear endorsement that our service works and delivers value time and time again.”

SPA’s frameworks can be used by all publicly or partially publicly funded organisations in Scotland and have been established in strict compliance with the Scottish public sector procurement regulations.

Partners are estimated to save 350,000 hours every year by using the frameworks. Partners can also receive a share of any surplus achieved from the execution of the frameworks, via a rebate – in 2018-19 this amounted to £580,000.

The top performing framework in 2018-19 was Offsite Construction of New Homes which amounted to nearly £97m worth of projects.

SPA also underlines its commitment to improving social value in Scotland’s communities through its Community Benefit Fund. SPA’s Founding Partners worked with the Lintel Trust – formerly the Scottish Federation of Housing Association’s Charitable Trust – to hand out grants totaling £205,000 in 2018-19 involving projects in areas such as employability, social inclusion and digital participation.

Clive added “that providing ongoing support to social landlords and councils – and encouraging them to consider collaborative working and innovative practices, particularly as they wrestle with grant reductions and budget cuts – is a key focus for the future.

He said: “The only way the Scottish housing sector will improve is for it to work better with one another. We want to encourage our Partners to share resources. This will not only help to ensure communities will thrive but will also result in better value for money.

“Completing housing projects on time, or ahead of time, brings a wealth of benefits: tenants can move in faster, and the housing provider can start to see the return on their investment and benefit from a higher quality product.”

Gavin Cockburn, Acting Service Lead – Procurement at South Ayrshire Council, said as a founder member they have benefitted greatly from a strong, collaborative relationship with SPA.

He said: “The choice, quality and flexibility that SPA frameworks offer is excellent, and the outstanding assistance provided by our Client Support Manager and the rest of the team is very much appreciated.

“As well as allowing the Council to fulfil many complex and vital requirements within South Ayrshire – from new homes to energy efficiency projects, community building upgrades and heating services – one of the special benefits of partnering with the SPA are the opportunities that our framework rebates and Community Benefit Fund provide to our local communities.”

Steven Brady, Managing Director of Hadden Group, added: “We first joined SPA as a framework supplier in 2017 and have received a steady pipeline of projects from clients across three different frameworks including new build housing, schools and community buildings.

“We have delivered a range of projects including Early Years Nurseries for both Falkirk and West Lothian Councils and are currently on site with affordable housing projects in Biggar and Bathgate.

“We are also working closely with Perth & Kinross Council to deliver two new Early Years facilities. In addition, we are working with North Lanarkshire Council to provide more than 70 houses in three separate developments, all of which are due to commence in 2020.”

As well as providing compliance, quality and best value to Partners, SPA frameworks support a streamlined process from the award of a contract to completion of a project. Under the frameworks, Partners have the option to either award a contract directly or run a mini-competition between companies that have declared an interest in the project.

 
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