Strategic Partner Procurement

The Assignment

Given the financial, demographic and service demand pressures it faces, Leicestershire County Council (LCC), is seeking ways to generate additional financial returns through improved commercial returns on its assets.  LCC benefits from significant land assets which have been identified as a potential source of additional financial return.

LCC was exploring opportunities to generate return while also creating much-needed homes and other services in the County and it identified a greenfield site to the east of Lutterworth town (Lutterworth East) that has the potential to deliver significant housing and community benefits, therefore LCC prepared a masterplan and submitted a hybrid planning application for this site.

31ten was appointed to work with LCC on their delivery and procurement strategies and the outcome of these was to progress the procurement of a 50/50 joint venture partner for a period of thirty years, through an OJEU Competitive Dialogue, to fund, develop and manage Lutterworth East and other potential development opportunities the County.

The Role

Our role included preparing an options appraisal to review LCC’s delivery options for Lutterworth East (and other potential sites), which recommended progressing an OJEU Competitive Dialogue procurement route to secure a joint venture partner.  We worked closely with LCC Officers to keep Members engaged and secure their buy-in of this delivery route and we also lead a soft market testing exercise to get the market’s views on whether this would be an appealing opportunity, which would indicate the likely types of organisations that could be interested.

31ten is the Lead Advisor and Financial Advisor to LCC on all pre-procurement and procurement activity. We are leading the preparation of the procurement documents to support the OJEU compliant competitive dialogue process, which includes the OJEU Notice, Selection Questionnaire, Descriptive Document, Tender Instructions, Key Legal Principles, Response Forms etc. A draft of all documents is required at procurement launch, therefore a series of detailed workshops have been held to ensure a timely preparation and approvals process for documents is undertaken.  We advised the Council on the funding/investment options available to them both as well as advising on structuring the partnership and the financial flow of funds of the JV, including the impact on the Council’s balance sheet and general fund.

A core part of our role has been to prepare the detailed financial model, which forms the template bidders are required to complete when submitting their financial offers, this has been tested in detail with key finance officers within LCC.

31ten’s appointment includes leading on the procurement of a JV partner. This will include further training for the evaluation panel, setting the agenda and leading and participating in all dialogue meetings, responding to bidders clarifications, evaluating tenders at all stages, participating in moderation meetings and recommending a preferred bidder. The team will lead on all commercial discussions during dialogue stages and support LCC after the preferred bidder is selected in negotiating and finalising all contract terms.

Key Outcomes

Our key outcomes to date have included:

  • A comprehensive set of objectives of what the Council wants to achieve
  • Options appraisal with the recommendation of a preferred delivery approach
  • Soft market testing report
  • Cabinet approval of the objectives and preferred delivery approach
  • A detailed draft of procurement documents, subject to further refinement ahead of launch
  • A design guide suitable for the procurement
  • Competitive Dialogue training