Francesca Colloca is the Senior Regeneration Manager at LLDC
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area has remained a hive of activity for the construction and building industry throughout the pandemic even with strict social distancing measures in place.
These projects are worth millions of pounds to the supply chain involving the very largest contractors as well as the specialists who help to create some of the most efficient homes, offices and workspaces in the capital.
Despite the scale of the building work, local firms can sometimes feel there’s no room for them. It can be daunting to compete against larger companies more used to bidding through technical and time-intense public procurement systems.
LLDC has always encouraged its contractors to use local suppliers wherever possible. But with plans for the Good Growth Hub approved, a new centre focusing on developing talent for the growing creative, cultural and technology sectors in east London, LLDC was keen that local firms had the chance to compete for the £120,000 fit-out project for the Hub’s new home.
Our Regeneration team worked closely with the Building Legacies, a project run by East London Business Place, Newham College with funding from the European Research and Development Fund, local boroughs and LLDC. Building Legacies has developed a strong network among local suppliers and contractors to help them bid for suitable opportunities and they were able to identify potential bidders for the work.
Sandhurst Construction, based in Tower Hamlets and Romford, undertakes building maintenance, refit works, insurance repairs and fire stopping and has a plumbing and electrical arm to the business.
The Building Legacies team contacted owner Steve May in July 2020 to alert him to the Good Growth Hub fit-out contract.
With support and advice from Courtenay Connect, Steve’s firm overcame its concerns about the daunting open competitive tender process and was able to pull together a high-quality proposal submitted in August. Steve was able to show how his firm employed local staff and was able to procure materials to complete the work from local suppliers and have a less damaging impact on the environment.
After interviews and Q&A sessions were completed, Sandhurst was awarded the contract in September. Steve needed an architect and some specialist design work, and was able to use ELBP to source relevant contractors from the its contractors’ database. Sandhurst appointed Tuckers, a locally based architect and design company, who also brought on board some additional architectural support from another company, Baynes and Mitchell.
Work started on site in November 2020 and Sandhurst completed the official handover to the Good Growth Hub operator in February 2021.
As a growing local business they managed to land their largest contract to date and their first design and build scheme. With a successful track record behind them the company can demonstrate its ability to compete for large contracts through the public sector procurement process and help to extend those benefits to other suppliers through the local supply chain.