Four local authorities in Yorkshire with a combined spend of over £1.4bn per year have joined forces with local organisation, Go4Growth, to emphasise the importance of developing the local business marketplace and support for the voluntary sector.
Starting in April this year, Calderdale Council, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Barnsley Council have made a commitment to helping smaller organisations to be able to enter or grow in the public sector.
Small businesses are the heart and soul of the British economy. They bring agility, diversity and innovation and through this they can help us deliver public services for the 21st century. Similarly, civil society organisations (voluntary, charity and not for profits) have long since been the social glue of communities across the UK.
Each of the four authorities have recognised the need to provide more support and guidance for these organisations who find the reality of finding and securing work in the public sector disproportionately harder than their larger competitors.
Collectively we are spending in excess of £1.4bn per year on public services and currently buy from a large pool of suppliers. Whilst a proportion of these are small and medium sized organisations across both the business and voluntary sectors, the ambition is to increase this number. Small to Medium Enterprises and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises support thriving local communities. The impact of the pandemic has been devastating up and down the country so there has never been a better time to focus developing our local marketplaces as we strive to rebuild communities.
Go4Growth is a programme designed specifically to help smaller organisations in any sector to enter or grow in the public sector marketplace. The programme is funded by us so businesses can join the programme and take the support, guidance, tools and resources on offer, with no cost to them. No matter where you are on your journey as a business, if you aspire to do more work in the public sector, the Go4Growth programme can help.
Our collective ambition is to ensure we attract and work with a diverse range of organisations and the programme will ensure businesses have the skills they need to work in our local and regional areas and beyond. We are already learning from the businesses who are engaging with the programme and as this number grows, so too will our knowledge and ability to make improvements.
To join the programme, head to https://go4growth.net-positive.org/(external link)
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:
“We are looking forward to working alongside other authorities in the region, to help our smaller businesses and voluntary organisations improve their access to public sector buying. By supporting this programme, we want to show our understanding and commitment to the role our smaller businesses and organisations play in the local economy, especially in the light of the impact of COVID-19.”
Gillian Askew FCIPS, Co-Founder of Go4Growth, said:
“We are delighted to be working with these Authorities in Yorkshire to help support organisations to be able to find and secure work in the public sector marketplace. This is really important work which has only increased in priority and urgency in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic.”