Case Study - Supported business helps Lanarkshire get ready for international sporting event

Up to 1,500 youngsters between the ages of 12 and 15 will descend on North and South Lanarkshire in August to take part in the 2011 45th International Children’s Games – and they’ll need somewhere to sleep.


Fortunately, work is underway to produce 800 bunk beds, 1,600 mattresses and 1,600 bedding sets to accommodate the competitors, coaches and support staff.

Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBi) won the collaborative contract to supply the required beds and bedding following a competitive tender process through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) – The Scottish Government’s flagship public sector procurement portal. RSBi is one of the country’s leading examples of social enterprise, successfully combining commercial success with socially responsible practices.

The £293,000 contract was awarded to RSBi through The Scottish Government’s procurement initiative whereby buyers can reserve contracts for supported businesses under Article19, an element of a 2004 European Union directive.
RSBi is one of Europe’s largest assisted workshop facilities, predominantly employing people who have a disability or learning difficulty and is committed to equality and fairness.

The beds will be manufactured from RSBi’s 120,000sq ft high-tech manufacturing centre in Glasgow, and then delivered to three schools in North and South Lanarkshire where assembly halls and gymnasiums will be transformed into athlete villages.

Willie Docherty, managing director of City Building, one of Scotland’s leading construction companies, which operates RSBi, said: “This contract is a fantastic piece of business for RSBi and provides the opportunity to be involved in the delivery of a prestigious international event.

“It is also an endorsement of the extremely high production standards of the RSBi workforce and I would urge more public bodies in Scotland to put the community first and reserve contracts for assisted manufacturing facilities under Article 19.”

The procurement process was a collaborative effort by both Lanarkshire Councils with the process being lead by the team based in North Lanarkshire.  Natalie Cliff, senior procurement officer for North Lanarkshire Council, said: “Both Councils are committed to supporting the principles set out in Article 19 which means it can advertise contract notices which are exclusively reserved for supported businesses and third sector organisations.  By supporting the sector in this way the Councils are reinforcing their commitment to community-wide involvement and responsibility.

“The collaborative contract to supply bunk beds for the Children’s Games was treated in the same way as any other tender process – potential suppliers had to demonstrate quality and value for money. We were satisfied that RSBi would be able to deliver the goods to our specification at a competitive market price.

“This will be the first time the International Children’s Games has come to Scotland so it’s a great honour for Lanarkshire to be involved. The Games will not only leave a lasting legacy for our young athletes, the bunk beds and bedding will also have a use beyond the competition and will be redistributed to homeless shelters and care homes across the region.”