Council accused of missing opportunity to champion local firms

Looking across The Deep to Hull Docks   Picture Bruce Rollinson
Looking across The Deep to Hull Docks Picture Bruce Rollinson
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Hull City Council has been accused of missing a “huge opportunity” to champion local companies after it appointed a firm based in Sussex as the primary contractor on a major regeneration scheme.

Daniel Roche, a director at Hessle-based engineering company MB Roche & Sons, believes local contractors should be hired to carry out work to refurbish Hull city centre as it prepares to become the UK City of Culture in 2017.

Last month, Hull City Council announced the appointment of a primary contractor to deliver what has been billed as the biggest transformation the city centre has seen in more than 70 years. Eurovia, which has its head office in West Sussex and an office in Rotherham, has been appointed to complete the full public realm programme.

However, Mr Roche told The Yorkshire Post: “Local contractors have been bypassed by Hull City Council and with it a huge opportunity has been missed to champion local companies, showcase and develop the skills of local people, add value to the local economy and leave a city-wide legacy after 2017.”

A Hull City Council spokesman said: “To meet legal requirements, tenders for the public realm project were evaluated on price and quality and as part of this a strong emphasis was placed on the benefit to the local economy of local labour, through the YORcivils framework (a construction framework for the procurement of civil engineering contractors).”

Local contractors on the YORcivils framework were invited to bid for the work, the spokesman added.

The spokesman said: “Following their appointment as lead contractor, Eurovia is required to provide monthly reports on the number of employees that live in Hull who are working on the project. Currently, in week two, the number of employees from HU postcodes represents 84 per cent of the workforce.

“In addition, Eurovia has a strong commitment to training and developing local labour and, as the project progresses, there will be training and work experience opportunities with progression to employment and qualifications.”