Deputy Economy Minister, Lee Waters has today encouraged Wales’ Public Service Boards to increase local procurement as part of his drive to create stronger local supply chains and build wealth in communities across Wales.
Speaking at a Public Service Board engagement event with a focus on the Foundational Economy, the Deputy Minister made clear his determination to work with and empower Public Service Boards to maximise the social value of procurement.
Lee Waters said:
“We want to build wealth within our communities by encouraging local procurement. This means learning from existing good practice such as in Preston, where procurement management and council led ‘place based’ economic regeneration have strengthened the local supply chain and resulted in key organisations keeping over 70% of spend within the locality.
“This is an absolutely key component of the Foundational Economy this Welsh Government is committed to growing, and it’s an approach which must have public bodies at its heart.
“Through driving the co-production of public services and innovative solutions between anchor institutions, we can build strong local supply chains and help ensure our communities feel the full benefit of the Welsh pound. I want to see us working together to develop new and creative solutions to local economic challenges that deliver for Welsh communities - solutions that can then be spread and scaled quickly, right across Wales. My recently launched £3 million Foundational Economy Challenge Fund is one way in which we can assist in helping to see this change.
“I know that there is a great deal of good work and good will already apparent across our Public Service Boards, and so I’d today urge us all to ensure this translates into as many partnerships as possible, working together and using procurement as one lever to build wealth within our communities.
The Foundational Economy is made up of SMEs, microbusiness, and social enterprises, based in our communities, that deliver the goods and services that are necessary and important to people. From house builders and care providers, through to hairdressers, utility pipe fitters and sofa makers – these are the jobs which help to provide the goods and services that we use every day and which make our lives easier.