North West social housing consortium, JV North, has announced that 38 small and medium-sized companies have been appointed to its £180m small business framework since it launched last September.
The framework, which has been designed to make it easier for SMEs to access public sector contracts and work with housing associations, allows bidding for schemes valued at under £1m.
JV North’s members, which collectively manage 114,500 homes across the North West, are currently building 3,071 homes in 2016-21 as part of its shared ownership affordable homes programme.
Work on the SME framework is split into six areas: new-build, refurbishment, modular build, disabled adaptations, supported housing and fire safety.
Sean Stafford, director at housing association Saffer Cooper which manages JV North’s development programme, said: “These are two key issues that appeal to SMEs who are often put off applying for frameworks because they feel they don’t have the capacity to manage lengthy procurement exercises or think the work is too big for them and will be taken by larger contractors.”
JV North chairman, Nigel Wilson, who is also chief executive of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, said: “Using SMEs improves local communities in a broader sense; we can make neighbourhoods thrive and boost local economies by creating more jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships as well as buying local materials.
“Members are passionate about building homes to meet demand and we see SMEs playing a key role developing smaller sites, which across a large membership like JV North’s, can make a significant difference.”
JV North members include Community Gateway Association, Liverpool Mutual Homes, New Charter Housing Group, One Manchester, Sovini, Torus, Trafford Housing Trust, Weaver Vale Housing Trust and Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.