£3.2m Tendering Project Prepares for Launch

Small businesses and charities in Wales and Ireland will be in a stronger position to compete for public sector contracts thanks to a £3.2 million project launched this week. 

Winning in Tendering aims to transform smaller suppliers’ ability to win contracts and ensure home-grown organisations win a greater share of public sector business.

The Bangor University-led project will focus on improving the tendering skills of charities and Small to Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) and removing unnecessary barriers they face.

Part funded by £2.2 million from the European Union’s Ireland/Wales Cross Border Programme, the project builds on previous research work undertaken by Bangor University Law School, which has had a major influence on public procurement reforms taking place in the United Kingdom.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes, Alun Davies AM, said: “Helping our smaller organisations to successfully tender will ensure they can maximise their full potential, delivering more services and securing new business opportunities. I am delighted that this EU-backed initiative is assisting these organisations to thrive and flourish, in turn, delivering benefits to the wider economy.”

The team at the Law School’s Institute for Competition and Procurement Studies has developed five training packages tailored to address the needs of smaller organisations and designed to encourage economic growth.

Rebecca Budski, director of Gelli Civil Engineering Ltd based in Penrhyndeudraeth, says her company is already reaping the rewards of enrolling on one of the programme’s pilot training packages.

“We are delighted we took advantage of the opportunity to be involved,” said Rebecca.

“The Tender Review Report we received has been a great help; it was constructive, honest, thorough, totally bespoke and confidential to us, and above all understandable. It clarifies exactly what we need to do to win more public sector business. I’m pleased this project will help more companies like ours to secure new contacts.”

The team at Bangor works in partnership with Dublin City University Strategic Procurement Unit and the Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management.

Support for the project has also come from a number of major organisations, including the Welsh Government, Gwynedd Council, Conwy County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), Wales Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Ahead of the official launch, Professor Dermot Cahill, Project Director and Head of Bangor Law School said: “Winning in Tendering is an exciting and ambitious project designed specifically to improve the public tendering experience of smaller organisations.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our skills and expertise in developing a number of innovative and practical training outputs to benefit our own small indigenous organisations.”

The Ireland Wales Cross Border programme is led by the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly (SERA) in Ireland in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government. It is supported by the European Regional Development Fund to develop collaborative projects to boost skills, economic growth and protect the environment. 

Bangor University Vice Chancellor Professor John Hughes will be present at the launch, at the Management Centre, Bangor, on Thursday, June 23.

A second launch will be held at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium on June 24.

For further information about the project, visit http://www.bangor.ac.uk/law/winningintendering or contact Gary Clifford on 01248 382733.

Publication date: 20 June 2011