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City launches local procurement charter for developers

The City of London Corporation has launched a local procurement charter calling on developers and contractors to source 10 per cent of goods and services locally.

The charter is designed to boost local SMEs, with the corporation predicting it will help them more than double their share of the City’s £13.3 billion supply chain. 

It is intended the charter will be supported by planning agreements for new developments from autumn 2011.

Around half a million sq metres of office space is due to be built in the City over the next 10 years and key developers and contractors including Mace and British Land, have already signed up.

According to CLC research, City firms currently source around 4-5 per cent of their supply chain from local SMEs but it is hoped the charter could boost this to 13 per cent.

City of London Corporation policy and resources committee chairman Stuart Fraser said:  “Small businesses are not the only beneficiaries of a commitment to local procurement; these policies often bring costs savings, especially when looking at the transportation and whole life cost of a product or service.  Furthermore, when local SMEs secure new contracts, they are able to upgrade production and invest in expansion and job creation; increasing their capacity to support global trade within our financial centre.”

It is hoped the charter will have a filter down affect to the City’s neighbourhood boroughs, some of the poorest in the country.

Mace senior community regeneration manager Gez Carr said:  “We see this City of London Corporation initiative as a meaningful way to increase opportunities for local suppliers and, in turn, stimulate local economies and drive community regeneration.

“We don’t see this as a social programme provided by big businesses, or a tool to provide handouts – it makes good business sense. We recognise that local businesses can deliver innovation, responsiveness, flexibility, customer service, specialist skills and services, and ultimately lower costs.”

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