Anthony Dillon

Scape chooses Willmott Dixon for £1.25bn council works

Willmott Dixon has been re-appointed as sole contractor on the Scape major works framework for local authority new-builds and refurbishments.

The framework, which Willmott Dixon won after a seven-month bidding process, is expected to generate £1.25bn of construction work over the next four years.

Under the current framework, which ends in April 2014, the Northern division run from Oldham, won contracts for the new Archbishop Beck and Notre Dame Catholic Colleges, both for Liverpool City Council, as well as numerous projects in the North East.

Anthony Dillon, Willmott Dixon's managing director for the North, said: "The new Scape framework will allow us to expand our potential in areas like project delivery, local spend, while also creating apprenticeship and training opportunities. We want as many companies as possible to benefit from Scape work and we'll make sure it acts as a stimulus in a construction industry that remains constrained by a harsh trading environment.

"We also want to use this to enhance Scape's reputation as a best-in -class route to delivering value for money. The past year has seen Willmott Dixon work closely with Scape to create Sunesis, an innovative suite of standardised building solutions which exemplifies our joint approach to delivering more for less. More and more public bodies are using Sunesis designs and we look forward to further innovation with Scape, particularly given the wider scope of work in the new framework."

Willmott Dixon estimated that under the previous Scape framework, where it was the incumbent contractor, local authorities saved a minimum of 14p in every £1 they spent on projects procured through Scape. Willmott Dixon aims to increase that saving to 20p in every £1, while ensuring 60% of project budgets are spent on companies within a 20-mile radius of each Scape site, and raising employment and skills targets by 1,400%.

Scape specialises in providing a range of national and regional procurement frameworks enabling the UK public sector to procure construction services quicker and more efficiently, without having to go through lengthy and costly OJEU processes each time.

Willmott Dixon delivered all 157 projects under the previous framework on time and in budget.

The scope of work procured under Scape is set to become more varied, with clients using it to procure schools, leisure facilities, public amenities like council offices and police headquarters, as well as housing and care home accommodation. New opportunities include infrastructure, development funding and energy efficiency services, plus working in Northern Ireland with Willmott Dixon's partner Farrans.

Key innovations being planned on the new framework include a national materials database to track 80% of building products used on Scape sites. This database will offer live, aggregated savings across Scape projects to increase local spend and reduce capital cost to clients. Another feature will be a fellowship programme to offer additional savings and benefits to repeat clients spending over £15m.

Scape is a local authority-controlled company, based in Nottingham, whose shareholders are Derby City, Derbyshire County, Gateshead, Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire County and Warwickshire County Councils.

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