Alongside a new £11bn construction framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a separate £2bn framework has been set up for Scotland, operated and managed by Scape Procure Scotland.
Scape says that the national construction frameworks – available to all public sector organisations – have been simplified to “provide direct support to the local economy and the green recovery”.
The four-year framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which has the option to be extended until 2027, builds on Scape’s existing national construction and minor works frameworks that have seen more than 800 projects delivered to date by Willmott Dixon, Robertson, Wates, Lendlease and Kier. Projects have been supported regionally by Farrans, McLaughlin & Harvey, Henry Brothers and a network of SMEs.
A new feature is a parallel lotting structure that will give commissioning clients the option to engage early with several contractors before awarding a project. This is to stop contractors shirking, or as Scape puts it: “This element of the framework has been designed to stimulate innovation and a reinforced commitment from contractors to maintain the highest possible standards.”
Other revisions include enhanced local economic engagement and supporting the achievement of the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon commitments. There is also a wider range of NEC (New Engineering Contract) contract options, with more opportunity for collaboration and flexibility across the supply chain on longer-term, higher-value projects and for specifying performance objectives that cover the full life cycle of an asset.
Other features of the new national construction framework include:
- ‘Digital as standard’ – a pre-qualifying criteria will include a requirement that all contractors must be Level 2 BIM compliant and that contracts can be digitally exchanged through e-document agreements.
- A new approach to sustainable delivery – Scape will be unveiling its new sustainability plans this summer, to which bidders will be expected to respond as the contracting authority looks to help the public sector address the climate emergency.
The new £11bn framework will be structured into seven lots, two of which are specific to Northern Ireland.
John Simons, head of procurement and audit at Scape Group, said: “This is by far the most innovative framework in our 15-year history and, importantly, offers more choice and control to the public sector, whilst maintaining our heritage in framework and performance management.
“Our public sector colleagues have a diverse mix of challenges that they have to tackle as a part of the projects they commission. By introducing what we believe is the first ever parallel lotting structure within a direct award framework, we feel that we can help to clear a path to achieving those objectives, whilst maintaining a bedrock of rigour, compliance and client support.
“By providing clients with the flexibility to decide how success is defined, be that related to local spend, social value or low carbon initiatives, we can help the public sector to meet their strategic goals.
“For contractors, the new framework will enable them to do what they do best. They will continue to have the opportunity to engage early, collaborate with clients and to deliver project excellence at pace, that shows the industry at its most innovative and impactful.
Scape Group chief executive Mark Robinson said: “Our role is to broker the right relationships and conversations between the private and public sector. Underpinned by a delivery model that has a proven track record of successful delivery, we believe that our new construction frameworks will not only nurture those partnerships and deliver great buildings but that they will ensure each and every project plays its part in driving the economic recovery.”
Scape is a public sector body, jointly owned by Dery, Derbyshire, Nittingham, Nottinghamsaire, Gateshead and Warwickshire councils. It was the first organisation in the UK to be formed under the Local Government Act 2003. Its most recent accounts show annual turnover of £12m and a pre-tax profit of £2.4m.
Prospective bidders can register their interest in attending Scape’s upcoming market awareness events for the new national construction framework via www.scapegroup.co.uk/services/procure/live-procurement.