Find out how the London Borough of Southwark and City of Lincoln Council partnered to use our Digital Marketplace to develop a new digital service for housing repairs.

The background

Since 2018, the London Borough of Southwark and the City of Lincoln Council have received 4 tranches of funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Local Digital Fund to carry out a discovery project and deliver a new digital service for housing repairs. 

The discovery project’s aim was to define a common service pattern for housing repairs in socially rented properties and to understand the barriers to the adoption of digital repairs services. In September 2021, the minimum viable product (MVP) for the service moved into beta testing and in August 2022, the Housing Repairs Service prototype was made publicly available for other interested councils.

The solution

At each stage, the partners have commissioned suppliers through our Digital Marketplace. The marketplace enables public sector buyers to find technology or people for their digital projects quickly, easily, and efficiently. Users are able to access everything from data centres and hosting individual technology specialists such as developers or user researchers.

In this case, the individual procurement processes have each resulted in the appointment of different suppliers to handle specific elements of the project according to their expertise. Many of them are SMEs with a particular focus on producing innovative outcomes.

Fraser Trickett, Organisational Change Lead at City of Lincoln Council, has been pleased with the results of using the Digital Marketplace:

We had a good response rate to each of the adverts we published on the marketplace from a wide range and variety of suppliers. This variety meant we were always able to award to a supplier with the skills and culture that we were looking for, as both the project and team evolved. As we were working with multiple councils, we found the clarity of the documentation and templates were extremely useful too, taking any ambiguity out of what could have been a complicated process.

The ambition of the partners is to produce something designed for user needs that is scalable and easily adopted by other local authorities or housing associations. Administration costs for managing housing repairs services using traditional ‘offline’ methods can run into millions of pounds for an organisation, so the potential savings innovation can deliver are significant.

How we can help

To find out more about how the Digital Marketplace and our other technology solutions could help to support your digital transformation projects, you can:

You can find a full list of all the commercial agreements we offer, alongside details of how we can help you build policy considerations into your procurement, in our interactive digital brochure.