Borders businesses benefitting from council contracts

Councillor Robin Tatler, executive member for Finance, is delighted the amount being spend locally to help support a wide range of businesses is increasing
Councillor Robin Tatler, executive member for Finance, is delighted the amount being spend locally to help support a wide range of businesses is increasing

Scottish Borders Council’s annual procurement report shows that £75.9m was spent locally in 2018/19, an increase of over £6m on the previous year.

The increase takes the amount spent with businesses operating within the Scottish Borders to over 45 per cent of the total council money spent with third parties.

Councillor Robin Tatler, executive member for Finance, said: “This council is determined to provide the best possible public services to the residents of the Borders and ensure that we improve social, economic and environmental outcomes, and that is demonstrated in this report.

“The money that we spend locally helps support a wide range of businesses of all sizes, protects jobs and generates further local spending, and I am delighted that the amount has increased in the past year.

“Through our contracts we are also able to help deliver a variety of other community benefits, with our contractors creating apprenticeships, providing educational activities and supporting local charities and community groups with donations or materials, for example.

“Partnership working with JobCentre Plus and Borders College also continues to help young and unemployed people gain work in the construction sector.”

The report also outlines how the council is working to make the best use of its resources and also derive other benefits.

An example of this has been arrangements through a new fresh food contract which has reduced deliveries and cost by moving to a single delivery for school meal ingredients.

Local businesses have been successful in winning a variety of contracts in the past year, including for school improvements, developing new Early Years provision and also the new Jim Clark Motorsport Museum.

Councillor Mark Rowley, executive member for Business and Economic Development, said: “To be able to continue to grow the percentage that is spent within the Scottish Borders we need local businesses to be up to speed with the requirements we have for contractors, and the way to respond to contract tenders.

“It is vital that we do all we can to ensure that Scottish Borders businesses have the best opportunity to take on council contracts so that more of the benefits from council-funded works stay local.”