Consortium opens framework for SME builders

JV North, a consortium of 11 social housing associations based in the North West, is offering SME builders the opportunity to win work in the second stage of a four-year building and refurbishment framework worth £180m.

The consortium is offering a lot dedicated specifically to smaller contractors with works valued at under £1m. JV North intends to create an unlimited list of suppliers through which their housing association members can tender opportunities for construction works.

Work will be divided into six areas: new build, refurbishment, modular build, disabled adaptations, supported housing and fire safety. Contractors can apply for any or all of the lots.

At the start of July, JV North announced the contractors and consultants chosen for the framework for schemes valued at more than £1m.

The framework is an open list, where new suppliers can join at any point. The list is expected to run for four years from September 2017.

Sean Stafford, director of Saffer Cooper, which manages JV North’s development programme, said: “The Dynamic Purchasing System simplifies the procurement process which really appeals to smaller SMEs.

“Many are put off by lengthy procurement processes or think the work is too big for them and will be taken by larger contractors.

“This is why we have split the four-year framework into two lots. JV North members will have a significant amount of home building schemes valued under £1 million needing to be completed in the next four years that will be perfectly suited to smaller contractors.

“We know a lot of smaller contractors deliver excellent work and want to tap into this. By using SMEs, JV North’s housing association members will be able to invest further in their local communities, supporting businesses and local economies.”

JV North comprises 11 social housing association members spanning Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Nottingham and Preston.

They will build nearly 3,000 new homes for rent and ownership by 2021 under the Government’s Shared Ownership Affordable Homes Programme.

It is expected that 2,000 of these will be delivered through the new JV North framework. Members are investing £248.2m of their own funds with a £87.3m grant from the Homes & Communities Agency.

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