Smaller contractors attack £5.5bn Scape deal

Grant Prior 6 years ago
Share

Scape Group is coming under fire over claims it is shutting out SME contractors during the latest revamp to its £5.5bn national construction framework.

Scape is opening up the deal to multiple companies rather than stick with current main provider Willmott Dixon.

But even the smallest of the five new lots calls for bidders to have a minimum turnover of £125m.

Scape said smaller firms can band together to launch bids which qualify in terms of size.

Douglas Kell, secretary of Construction Alliance Northeast, said: “Once again, public sector procurement is still weighted in favour of the national contractors.

“I know that a typical area of operation for an SME is about one hour’s travel time from its base.

“So it would seem with five lots covering such large regions as UK-wide, Scotland and Ireland that either Scape is deliberately trying to restrict the number of contractors able to apply or is assuming that large, national contractors will qualify because their supply chain can be located at a reasonable distance from their bases.

“This means that SMEs will only be able to aspire to the role of Tier 2 contractors or otherwise Scape has a lack of understanding of construction logistics.

“So much opportunity to undertake regional public sector construction projects has all but been removed for regional SMEs over the last few years as a result of frameworks like this.”

John Simons, Strategic Procurement Manager at Scape Group, said: “The National Construction framework, as with all of our frameworks, is designed to include micro, small and medium sized enterprises at all stages and our track record of extensive SME engagement is proven.

“The lead entity turnover level indicated in the prior information notice for the National Construction framework is in no way a barrier to SME involvement and does not restrict the number of contractors able to apply.

“SMEs can collaborate and bid as in a joint venture or consortia arrangement, ensuring that an organisation of an appropriate scale, skill and scope is appointed to deliver the volume of projects facilitated by this framework – a point which will be emphasised in our upcoming framework market awareness sessions.

“In addition, SMEs can reap numerous benefits by operating as part of the supply chain.

“We, together with our partners, continuously engage SMEs throughout the process and since Scape Group’s inception 10 years ago we have worked with 36,900 SMEs.

“Local procurement is also extremely important to us. Scape has spent over £1.3 billion within 20 miles and over £2 billion within 40 miles of project sites over the past decade.

“We not only require our partners to engage with SMEs – they must commit to a high percentage of SME supply chain spend across their subcontractors – we proactively measure our success in this regard, which is one of our key performance indicators on every single project and across the whole framework.”

Latest news

£1.25bn Stonehenge tunnel job winner revealed

Spanish, Italian, and Austrian JV scoops A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme
7 hours ago

Lendlease £140m hospital claim to hit High Court

Cramlington hospital trust claims for new temporary building while remediation works carried out
5 hours ago

Cash runs out on HS2 old Curzon Street station refurb

Laing O'Rourke/Murphy JV halts work on historic station renovation
9 hours ago

Balfour bags £50m Piccadilly Line upgrade

First award under latest London Underground High Voltage Power framework
5 hours ago

MPs call for cut in building demolitions to save carbon

Watchdog MPs set out urgent plan to prioritise retrofit and reuse of buildings over new build
9 hours ago

Structure Tone stems losses as order book grows

Fit out specialist racks-up £4m loss but is confident of turnaround this year after restructuring
10 hours ago

Construction leaders launch inflation busting taskforce

All sides of industry urged to work together rather than row over price hikes
1 day ago

HG Construction names next chief executive

Adam Quinn, son of one of the MBO founders, to take the reins in July
10 hours ago

Lendlease Stratford IQL blue towers approved

35- and 14-storey hexagonal blocks will provide 350 flats
9 hours ago

Track worker killed by train was controller of site safety

Distracted rail worker "lost awareness of his position relative to the line the train approached on"
1 day ago

MechFS went down owing £9.5m to supply chain

Subcontractors left holding millions in worthless invoices
1 day ago

HG Construction profit jumps 50% to £25m

Multi-storey homes and student accommodation jobs drive sales to record £243m
1 day ago

Go-ahead for Newcastle’s largest build to rent project

Work to start on 14-storey flats complex in the autumn
1 day ago

Contractors wanted for £288m Northumbrian Water frameworks

Ten lots up for grabs under latest major civils deal
1 day ago

Plans in for 142-room Exeter net zero hotel

RED Construction to build first of hotel developer's planned chain of net zero hotels
1 day ago

Rail workers vote to strike over maintenance job cuts fears

Network could grind to a halt next month
1 day ago

Race for £100m Immingham ferry terminal job

AB Ports aims to start work in mid 2023
2 days ago

Sisk wins Stockport £60m Weir Mill restoration

Work to start next month on 250 flats scheme
2 days ago

Developer swoops for 1,000-flats landmark Leeds site

Revised plans to be submitted by the end of the year for start soon after
3 days ago

Dominvs seals £173m funding for 713-bed student job

HG Construction to start major Hammersmith student complex in November
3 days ago

Briefings start for £1bn Midland Mainline Electrification plan

Market engagement starts for next seven sections covering 139km route to Sheffield
2 days ago

Forterra pushes back £27m factory refurb plan

Supply chain shortages hit project as brick prices rose another 12% last month
2 days ago

Speedy Hire results slowed down by KPMG

Hire giant left "frustrated and disappointed" by delay request from auditor
2 days ago

London office starts set to surge over next 6 months

Deloitte Crane Survey predicts jump in starts in Capital despite high building costs
3 days ago

Fit-out firm BW Workplace slips into the red

£5.2m backdated R&D tax credit deal lifts after tax performance
3 days ago

Hinkley Point delayed another year as costs rise by £3bn

Covid blamed for construction delays and cost increases
6 days ago

Competition probe launched into Bouygues’ Equans takeover

Bouygues is hoping to finalise acquisition later this year
3 days ago

TfL seeks developers for trio of over-station sites

Plum sites at Bank, Paddington and Southwark come with consent for 600,000 sq ft
3 days ago

Underwater drone used to check offshore wind farm foundations

Underwater robots deployed for inspection and maintenance work
3 days ago

DfE to unveil plans for school procurement shake-up

Supply chain summit to be held next month in Birmingham on future of schools frameworks
6 days ago

Contractor services