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£750m construction framework bidding opens

Manchester City Council and other partners in the powerful North West Construction Hub procurement group have invited applications for the medium value frameworks for the next four years.

There are currently 14 contractors on the medium value framework, which was established in 2010 and expires in April 2014, when the new one will begin, running until 2018.

North West Construction Hub, administered by Manchester City Council, is used by a broad set of councils, schools, colleges and NHS trusts to speed up building work by agreeing financial terms at the outset rather than on an individual job basis.

Wates was appointed to build the new theatre and cinema at First Street in Manchester through the hub, as was Laing O'Rourke on the £100m Manchester Town Hall Extension and Central Library renovation. Liverpool City Council used the hub to appoint Morgan Sindall and Kier to build new schools.

Since 2010 the high and medium value frameworks combined have been used by 57 customers on 124 projects with a total construction value of £783m.

The process is already underway to renew the £1bn high value framework for jobs over £9m; invitations to tender were published in August 2013 and submissions due in early October.

The new medium value framework will be used for contracts valued at between £2m and £9m, with different lots for jobs between £2m to £5m and between £5m and £9m.

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, one of the existing medium value contractors, said the hub saved the private sector time and money by not having to resubmit each time a contract was advertised. Dillon said the system worked very well, proven by the number of authorities and breadth of work that had been commissioned through the hub so far.

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