Torbay Council is trialling a system which aims to see more council contracts going to businesses within Torbay.
The pilot scheme will be rolled out during September 2021 and will run until 31 March 2022. It will help to increase spend locally, ensure equitable inclusion of suppliers and reduce carbon emissions through local sourcing.
The SupplyDevon hub will be used as a route to market for external spend of between £5,000 and £50,000.
SupplyDevon is a free online platform that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify suppliers from within the local authority boundary (or wider Devon if no Torbay based supplier available) who are invited to bid for the work.
During the 2020/21 financial year, out of 77 contracts awarded with a value below £50,000, only 16 were awarded to local suppliers. By making use of SupplyDevon, Torbay Council aims to ensure more of their spend remains in the local supply chain, helping to generate economic growth, particularly as businesses seek to recover from the pandemic.
All registered suppliers will have access to their own procurement platform, allowing them to view and respond to quotation requests, as well as having direct communication with the buyer. As soon as businesses register as a supplier, SupplyDevon will begin sending relevant quotation requests from local buyers – all completely free of charge.
Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said; “We want Torbay’s residents and businesses to thrive. The use of SupplyDevon will not only ensure that more of our spend remains within Torbay, but we also feed into the wider Community Wealth Building agenda. Through local sourcing, we are not only boosting the local economy we are also reducing carbon emissions which supports our commitment to tackling climate change.”
Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said; “Using SupplyDevon is a great opportunity for us to buy better and support our local economy as it recovers from pandemic. Over the last 18-months many of us supported businesses on our doorstep and owing to this exciting technology as a council we get to do the same. I’d encourage local suppliers to take a look, sign up and bid for work.”
Suppliers from Torbay, Devon and Plymouth can register for free at www.supplydevon.org.