MANAGEMENT

Bangor University scraps mega-contract plan in boon to local contractors

SOURCE: Matthew Xan/Shutterstock
Bangor University has scrapped plans to group all of their facility management contracts into one.

Bangor University has scrapped plans to group all of their management contracts into one giant one that would have left the running of its campuses under the control of one entity, resulting in the disenfranchisement of local contractors.

The university had been considering rolling all of its existing contracts for “hard facilities management” into one multi-million-pound deal, sparking fear it would be awarded to a large national contractor and leave local SMEs out of the equation.

Services such as building maintenance, plumbing, electrical and heating, were all being reconsidered under the proposed plan.

But the university has announced it was scrapping the proposal after widespread disapproval and a campaign from the social-democratic political party, Plaid Cymru.

“I am very pleased to see that Bangor University has changed their decision on this matter,” Plaid Cymru MP Rhun ap lowerth told North Wales Live.

“Procurement holds so much power in terms of making our local economy stronger and organisations – be they councils, Welsh Government or even universities – mustn’t think of spending decisions in isolation.

“There are knock-on effects and quite often ‘cheapest’ doesn’t mean best.”

In a statement, the university said it was a combination of factors that led them to scrap the idea for a single contract for facilities management provision.

Among them were “feedback from staff, unions” as well as “contractual issues.”

Plaid Cymru’s Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian said she was “encouraged” by the university’s decision and hopes it “maintains a stable, long-term relationship with local firms and contractors, one which is mindful of both value for money but more importantly, local employment.”