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Manchester praised for social value spending

Manchester City Council has been praised for its ‘pursuit of progressive procurement’ and policy of spending more with local firms.

A new report out today (11 March) by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) reveals the local authority spend £511m with its top 300 supplies in 2019/20.

According to the report, the proportion of spend with Manchester-based organisations has increased from 51.5% in 2008/09 to 69.2% in 2019/20.

And the proportion spent with SMEs has increased from 46.6% in 2014/15 to 62.9% in 2019/20.

A survey carried out for the report of the top 300 suppliers to Manchester City Council revealed that in 2019/20 they created an estimated 576 apprenticeships and 2,251 jobs within the city.

‘CLES has been pleased to work with Manchester City Council over the past 13 years to advance their pursuit of progressive procurement,’ said CLES chief executive, Neil McInroy.

‘They have been trailblazers in advancing the procurement aspects of community wealth building, and their work continues to inspire dozens of other local councils, city regions and devolved administrations who are pursuing community wealth building as part of their plans to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘There are tough times ahead for both local residents and businesses. But in times of challenge Manchester must continue to deepen its progressive actions and change. This will be done by its commitment to continued improvement, driven by political leadership, officer dedication and supplier support.’

CLES has been working with Manchester City Council to analyse its annual procurement spend and to understand its impact on the city’s economy and residents since 2008.

This approach to procurement is now being applied across dozens of places across the country, in areas as diverse as rural Scotland and inner-city London as well as with the devolved national administrations of the UK.

‘Covid-19 and its social and economic fallout has meant that the past year has been an immensely challenging time for all, including residents and businesses based in our city,’ said Manchester City Council’s deputy chief executive, Carol Culley.

‘The results of our work with CLES show that as a council we have a well-known track record in harnessing our spending power to improve the lives and livelihoods of those in Manchester. As a council we are committed to continually enhancing our social value policy so that we can build a more socially and economically just city from this pandemic, as well as dealing with the climate crisis head on.’

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