Faced with a tight deadline, Crown Commercial Service helped the college to complete their extension project on time and within budget by using the Construction framework

The requirement

West Lothian College (WLC) wanted to procure the construction of a mezzanine level and associated services. This was for one of their existing buildings, for the purposes of extending the workshop within the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

WLC had a limited budget and strict timeframe in which to procure this, with a requirement for construction to be completed within 6 months.

The procurement team at WLC researched a number of available routes and, following discussions with Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC), a decision was made to procure the works through the CCS ‘Construction Works and Associated Services’ framework. 

This would allow WLC to run a compliant procurement process over a shorter timescale, while ensuring that suitably qualified organisations would be tendering for the work, reducing the risks associated with its completion.

The solution

WLC registered their interest in using the framework and CCS provided significant support and advice, which continued throughout the process. 

WLC opted to use ‘Lot 1.1.4 Building Works and Minor Associated Civil Engineering Works and Services – Scotland’. They put out information through an Expression of Interest form to all suppliers on the Lot and received replies from 8 of the 9 suppliers.

The result

By using the framework, WLC were able to reduce their timescales, receiving 4 high quality bids, from Scottish suppliers with significant local presence, after just 3 weeks out to tender. Following a very competitive process, the winning tender submission was by Maxi Construction.

The split of the framework to target more localised SME suppliers also meant that WLC were able to operate the site visits at relatively short notice while remaining compliant with COVID-19 restrictions.

WLC achieved approximately 12% savings, among other benefits:

  • all permanent and agency staff (97%) paid in excess of Real Living Wage except trainees who are paid National Living Wage
  • site walk-arounds offered on weekly basis for staff and students
  • potential work placement during works
  • local supplier, meaning this project would provide local employment during a very difficult economic situation

The framework provided a fast and simple route to market while also providing a good range of suitable, locally-based suppliers. The support of CCS allowed the project to start on time.

The project was finished (subject to usual snagging works) only a week over the original scheduled end date, which considering how tight a project it was excellent.  We were very impressed with Maxi Construction.

Chris Naismith, Procurement Coordinator at West Lothian College.

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