A new online tool has been launched to allow suppliers exclusive access to major regeneration projects lined up for Lowestoft.
East Suffolk Council has developed a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to give suppliers the opportunity to prequalify for contracts and bid for work within eight subdivided procurement ‘lots’.
The lots include construction work valued at less than £500,000, making it more accessible to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and allowing the local authority to refine the tendering process by specific skills or services required for each individual project.
The DPS has been launched to operate hand-in-hand with the Lowestoft Town Investment Plan, which was developed by Lowestoft Place Board in partnership with East Suffolk Council and sets out proposals for £350million of regeneration projects over the next 10 years.
The plan was created as a catalyst for attracting funding from both public and private sector investment, like the £24.9m government grant awarded for Lowestoft through the Towns Fund process last March, with priority projects including the regeneration of the town’s Cultural, Historic and Station Quarters.
Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Economic Development, said:
“We’re anticipating work to be available on lots of varying sizes, providing exciting contracts for large and small, national and local providers throughout the lifetime of the 10-year Lowestoft Investment Plan.
“The DPS will allow providers to compete against their peers for appropriately sized contracts that will not be advertised outside the relevant lot.
“They can see what work’s coming up and ensure they have the resources available at the right time – and prequalification means they can save time by only having to add their main information once, rather than with every opportunity.
“We’ll also be encouraging regional and national companies to make use of the local supply chain and subcontractors in larger contracts. Larger businesses will be required to demonstrate how they will positively contribute to the skills pool in Lowestoft and surrounding area over the longer term.
“This isn’t just about pounds and pence – it’s about investing in and developing Lowestoft. We want to involve local businesses wherever possible and to develop the pool of skills in the Lowestoft area during the lifetime of this DPS.”
Potential suppliers just need to register, complete a questionnaire and be approved on East Suffolk Council’s electronic tendering site, hosted by In-tend eSourcing systems, where they can then sign up for alerts, notifying prequalified providers of all advertised projects within a procurement lot – the first of which will focus on architectural and design services.
Particularly broad lots may also be further subdivided by specialisms and distinct workstreams, with the minimum criteria for DPS qualification set at an accessible level to facilitate access for smaller providers.
In line with East Suffolk Council’s Strategic Plan, tender specific criteria may include questions around sustainability, local employment and use of local supply chains, carbon footprint reduction, minimising waste and reusing materials, while social value will also be included as an evaluation criterion for contracts over a certain cost.