Jenny Bowles: Building social value in construction

Rounding off a fortnight of reporting following Scotland Excel’s ‘Accelerating Delivery of Affordable New Homes’ conference, category manager Jenny Bowles highlights the potential for generating social value in construction.

Jenny Bowles: Building social value in construction

Jenny Bowles

In the Scottish Government’s recent Annual Procurement Report there was a clear call to public bodies to ensure that they are delivering tangible social value through their procurement. With an annual spend of more than £4bn on building or civil engineering works, public procurement of construction is a key player. 

Scotland Excel are proud to be leaders in this area with a portfolio that exemplifies how additional social value can be delivered through the procurement of construction services. 

Fair Work Practices are a key component of our contracts with 80% of suppliers paying the Scottish Living Wage. Our Domestic Furnitures and Furnishings framework has directed £1m to third sector organisations delivering reuse goods and since 2018 our frameworks have delivered circa £500k of community benefits. This not only includes apprentices, full-time employment and work placements but also backing to local communities through initiatives such as providing materials to support Men’s Shed, providing meals for kids during school summer holidays and delivering goods to build mud kitchens for local primary schools and nurseries.

Scotland Excel’s recently launched New Build Residential Construction framework showcases best practice when it comes to delivering social value. The framework delivers benefits for local areas through sub-contracting, project bank accounts, employment and training opportunities, and has social value at its heart through community benefits, payment of the Scottish Living Wage and opportunities for supported businesses.

Importantly, Scotland Excel has demonstrated that delivering social value within construction does not come to the detriment of commerciality. Since 2016 our construction portfolio has generated £25m of savings for our members and our New Build Residential Construction framework has the potential to save our members a further £5m per year.

Scotland Excel is sponsoring the Social Value Stage within the new Live Stages area at Procurex Scotland in Glasgow on 29 October, where delegates can hear more about how Scotland Excel and other public sector bodies are bringing social value to the heart of procurement.

Jenny Bowles was part of a line-up of speakers at Scotland Excel’s ‘Accelerating the delivery of affordable new homes’ conference in Edinburgh last week. The event was designed to bring local authorities and housing associations together with suppliers on Scotland Excel’s new £1.5bn New Build framework to explore key topics relating to the construction of social housing.

For more information on the framework, visit Scotland Excel’s website.

For further information on Procurex Scotland, go to

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