Council defends choice of project manager

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Scottish Borders Council has defended its decision to appoint Edinburgh-based project management firm Turner & Townsend to oversee construction of the facility, after several people took to our Facebook page to say the council should have sourced the work locally.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesman said: “We procure products and services in different ways, using a variety of methods to suit the specific needs of the individual projects.

“This contract was procured through the ESPO 2664 framework, which offers a competitive route to obtaining property advice and management services. The framework is a group of pre-qualified suppliers, all with a proven track record of delivering property advice and management services, from whom local authorities, schools and other eligible UK public bodies may purchase services quickly and simply.

“The procurement route that was taken delivered a project management team and full design team, with the appropriate experience in delivering this type of national attraction, to take the project from inception, through planning approval to completion of the works.”

The spokesman added that there will be opportunities for local contractors to bid to deliver the construction.

He said: “In 2018, the project team will undertake the procurement for the main works contractor. Any local or national contractor will be able to consider making a bid to deliver the construction contract. This will also include a series of community benefits that will include training, education and the opportunity for involvement of Small to Medium Enterprises in the construction of the building.”