Futurebuilders' new consortium to bid on sector's behalf for contracts

Government loan fund will provide resources to compete with private sector

An independent consortium that will bid for government contracts on behalf of the third sector is being created by government-backed loan fund Futurebuilders England.

Futurebuilders has revealed it will create an independent company limited by guarantee with the resources, scale and expertise to bid for large government contracts.

It will recruit organisations and people with the skills needed to win contracts to run its tendering processes, as well as organisations with expertise in health, education and welfare reform to act as its delivery arm.

Ian Charlesworth, enterprise director at Futurebuilders, said he hoped to have the organisation in place by the end of April.

"We've been talking to a wide cross-section of our customers and asking what their needs are," he said. "A lot of charities said that contracting and tendering was the way they were going to have to go.

"But lots said they didn't have the infrastructure, the expertise or the staff to cope with the contracting regime. Many said they were set up entirely for delivery, not for tendering.

"We want to make sure that the big contracts aren't all won by large private companies, and third sector organisations aren't left going cap in hand to the private sector."

Charlesworth said he was particularly interested in talking to people and organisations with expertise in bid writing, financial modelling, contract negotiation and performance management, including supply chain management.

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