The North West Construction Hub (NWCH) was established in 2009 to improve efficiencies and accountabilities within public sector procurement and the delivery of construction contracts. It was borne at a time when lowest cost tendering was still pervasive, and time and cost over-runs created an adversarial culture. Clients found that the price they agreed to pay at the start of the scheme was rarely the price they had paid by the end, there were frequently defects and dissatisfaction was rife.
Within this context, the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships (RIEP) had been established, tasked with spreading knowledge and good practice between networks of councils to generate greater improvement and efficiency. Whilst the RIEP sought improvement in many areas, the considerable capital expenditure in Construction meant that it was a focus for attention. The success of the NW RIEP provided the perfect springboard for the creation of a regional public procurement vehicle, founded on those same principles of efficiency, innovation, collaboration and best practice.
The NWCH board comprises representatives from public sector organisations from across the region and provides strategic governance. NWCH is managed by a small, dedicated team of Framework Managers and is supported by the Framework Management Group (FMG) and a series of Special Interest Groups (SIG) – resourced by representatives of the Contractor Partners (CP).
By working on behalf of all public sector organisations in the region, it drives down the cost of OJEU-compliant procurement, provides cost and programme certainty for clients and secures added value for local communities.