Figures show that the council is spending more money with local businesses than ever before.
The authority's local spending was up from £34,580,839 in 2017/18 to £83,728,495 in 2018/19. That means that almost half (43%) of the council's budget spent with third parties was spent within the borough, providing a welcome boost to hundreds of local firms.
In 2017 the council launched a campaign to increase spending with local suppliers, encouraging more businesses to register on 'The Chest' – an online procurement portal, managed by STAR Procurement. Being registered means businesses have access to contract opportunities with the council and other public bodies, including Stockport, Tameside and Trafford councils. STAR supports businesses and organisations to become 'match fit' - so they bid strongly and know how to respond well to public sector tenders.
Council leader Allen Brett said:
"I am pleased to see our local spending continue to rise. Increasing our investment locally is a great opportunity to really help the local economy, creating and safeguarding jobs whilst supporting our communities."
Lorraine Cox, Director of STAR Procurement said:
"Many local businesses can offer more benefits to the local community than national organisations and are considering the wider benefits of social value they can offer when bidding for council contracts. This is proving successful in terms of the improvement of more contracts secured locally. We're pleased with these results on local spend and expect to see further improvements. We want to capture improvement through social value too which is an integral part of our procurement processes now. My team and colleagues across the councils have worked hard to deliver this improvement and will continue to keep it simple, support businesses and organisations locally and enable procurement to deliver improvement for our region."
'Help the local economy'
JC Mills & Son is one of a host of Rochdale firms benefitting from the council's local investment. The company has recently installed a new boiler and pipework at St Edward's C of E Primary School in Castleton and replaced heating pipework at St Gabriel's RC Primary School. Both contracts delivered nearly £200,000 of social value, with the firm employing local people to deliver the work and utilising local supply chains.
Paul Stringer, owner of JC Mills & Son said:
"This is the first time we've applied for a tender via the Chest and Social Value Portal and we found the support from STAR and the website really helpful throughout. The Social Value we submitted helped us to win and demonstrates the added value a local business can bring to a council contract. We hope to do further work for the council and STAR, ensuring we continue to improve and provide true value for money for our borough."