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New-build framework fails to appoint any contractors

A £250m framework covering new-builds in Scotland and Northern Ireland has failed to appoint a single firm after a two-month procurement process.

An opportunity notice was published in August for the framework, which was intended to be used mainly for residential developments, including construction and design-and-build work.

The tender included separate lots for Scotland and Northern Ireland, with places for up to eight contractors on each.

But a contract-award notice now says that for either the Scottish or Northern Irish lots, “no tenders or requests to participate were received or all were rejected”.

The framework had been set to cover an initial two-year period, with the option to extend by two further 12-month periods.

It would have been available to social landlords and local authorities as well as other public sector bodies.

While mainly focused on new-build residential work, the framework would also have covered refurbishment, renovations and extensions on buildings including those in the commercial, community and educational sectors.

The procurement was managed by consultancy Prosper.

Tim Jennett, head of strategic procurement at Prosper, told Construction News that the framework had received a “low response”, with some submissions that did not meet the expected standards.

He believed this may have been partly down to a lack of awareness about Prospect in Scotland, as well as general caution among contractors in the current environment.

He added that Prospect may have “got things wrong” in some aspects of the framework, suggesting that the geographic area could have been “too big”, for example.

Jennett said the consultancy would reflect on the matter but had “no immediate plans to go back out” to tender.

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