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Fri May 07 2021

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Northeast framework opens up to local firms

31 Aug 17 Local civil engineering contractors have welcomed the reform of construction procurement in the northeast of England, which they hope will give smaller firms a chance at last to compete with the majors.

The North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) is inviting companies to bid for a place on a construction framework worth £300m over the next four years.  By separating housing from public building specialisms, it is now offering more of the region’s smaller firms chance to bid for some of the work.

Presently only seven major firms are on the list – Balfour Beatty, Esh Construction, Galliford Try, Graham Construction, Interserve, ISG and Kier.

Under the revised approach, smaller builders now get their chance to bid for some of the work. At least six firms will be appointed for nine lots coming up for bid as the new four year framework takes effect from April 2018, with the option to extend for 24 months more.

“It’s good news,” said Stuart Miller, director of the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association (North East). “More opportunity for smaller firms in public sector bidding makes for double incentive now, since Newcastle City Council – one of NEPO’s 11 member authorities – has already announced work to start soon on a £10m phase of improvements for its road networks. These were due to start a year ago and will be part of a £60m programme across the city.”

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He added: “Local contractors are welcoming NEPO’s new lot sizes, which they believe will help drive quality and innovation, and we hope a good throughput of work will come via the portal. We hope also that clients will focus on social value, and help ensure fair payment practices throughout the supply chain.”

The new lots comprise:

  • Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham — up to £2m
  • Tees Valley — up to £2m
  • Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham — £2m-£5m
  • Tees Valley —£2m-£5m
  • North East — £5m plus

Housing (less than 25 plots)

  • Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham — up to £2.5m
  • Tees Valley — up to £2.5m
  • North Yorkshire — up to £2.5m
  • Cumbria — Up to £2.5m.

The opportunity can be accessed via the NEPO eTender system. Suppliers wishing to be considered for this contract must register their expression of interest and submit a tender through the NEPO eTender system. Ifnot already registered, candidates should register on the NEPO eTender system at

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