Seventy charities show interest in contracts consortium

Big-name charities among supporters of Futurebuilders scheme

More than 70 organisations have expressed an interest in being part of a consortium that will bid for public sector contracts, according to the Futurebuilders England director responsible for developing the scheme.

Ian Charlesworth, who is enterprise director at the government-backed loan fund, said he had been contacted by local, regional and national organisations, including some of the country's best-known charities.

A meeting to set up the consortium, which is being lined up to bid for some of the biggest contracts in education, health and employment services, will take place in mid-May.

"The discussions we've had have been promising," said Charlesworth. "We've been contacted by people with bidding expertise, others who want to provide capital and organisations that want to provide services."

Charlesworth said the consortium wanted to bring on board at least one registered social landlord and needed to sign up organisations with experience in writing bids, negotiating contracts and managing supply chains.

He also said he had received support for the idea from the Department for Work and Pensions, and would be meeting with the Office of the Third Sector to discuss his proposals.

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