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Friday 19 August 2011

Free training to boost businesses who want to join forces to win deals


Cheshire East Council is to hold free workshops to help business people learn how to join forces to win public sector contracts.

The Council-organised procurement training events are targeted at local businesses, charities and social enterprises. The aim is to show them how to collaborate with other organisations – to increase scale and expertise – to form ‘consortia’ to tender for local and central government work.  

An introductory workshop on tendering for public sector contracts, held earlier this year, was hailed a success and oversubscribed – which encouraged Cheshire East Council to arrange further workshops.

The latest free workshops, entitled Setting up a Consortium, are being conducted by award-winning Melanie Bryan, from WhyNotChange ( – an organisation which helps businesses tender for public sector contracts.

Melanie recently won the best social enterprise partnership award in the Prime Minister’s Big Society Awards 2011.

Areas the ‘consortium’ workshops will cover include:

● How to go about selecting your consortia partners;

● How to work together before bidding for a contract; and

● Understanding the different types of consortia which can be created.

Cheshire East Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “Tendering for a public sector contract can be a daunting prospect and sometimes it makes more sense to team up with other organisations to develop a bid.

“We want traders and charities to know that we are always interested in receiving tenders from local businesses and organisations.

“These workshops can significantly help to simplify and demystify the process. We want to encourage even more local businesses to get involved in working with Cheshire East Council and other public sector bodies.”

Councillor Peter Mason, Cabinet member with responsibility for procurement and shared services, added: “It really is crucially important that we do all we can to ensure the procurement process is competitive and accessible.

“We put a lot of emphasis on supporting local firms and businesses and ensuring as many services as possible are provided locally. We are committed to working with others to deliver quality services and value for money for the people of Cheshire East.”

The Setting up Consortium workshops will be held on Wednesday, August 31 and Monday, September 5, between 7.30am and 11am each day, at Riverside, Mountbatten Way, in Congleton.

To book a place, contact Jacqueline Wilson, business engagement co-ordinator at Cheshire East Council, on 01270 685911 or email:

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