Fire safety framework out to tender

Re:allies, a coalition of public procurement bodies, is seeking contractors to deliver safety improvements on housing association properties across the country, as providers look to improve safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The framework will be worth an estimated £163m in total over the course of four years.

The process is being led from the offices of Procure Plus, the social housing procurement specialist covering the North West from its base at the Lancastrian Office Centre, Old Trafford. The other two partners in Re:allies are Efficiency North and Central Housing Investment Consortium.

Procure Plus is made up of 40 registered providers, covering housing associations and councils across the region.

In its tender notice, the partnership said: “Re:allies wishes to procure and enter into a framework agreement for the provision of fire risk assessments, fire precaution work, fire prevention work and fire mitigation work to be completed predominantly in social housing properties but may also be carried out in other public buildings, including but not limited to, schools and offices.”

The works have been broken down into regional lots. Of interest regionally will be the Fire Precaution Works (North) package, worth £15m, for which a maximum of 15 contractors will be successful. The scope of works will include the installation of fire doors, smoke seals, intumescent strips and fire signage.

The largest part of the framework covers the design, supply, installation and maintenance of sprinkler systems, for which the northern package alone could be worth £40m.

Councils and housing associations carrying out sprinkler installations will in all likelihood need to find the funding to do so themselves. Housing minister Alok Sharma described such measures as “additional rather than essential” as central Government this month dismissed funding bids from Croydon, Nottingham and Wandsworth councils.

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