Ministry flags smaller contracts

Smaller firms urged to take advantage of £950m tender for estate landscaping and tree-felling.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is telling smaller landscape and tree contractors to grab work worth up to £950m across 200,000ha of its land.

Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which manages land for the ministry, said the work would involve maintaining landscaping on ranges, such as trimming grass, fencing, dry-stone walling, tree conservation and clearance and pest control.

Contract project manager Tim Cherry said: "The training estate needs excellent suppliers, whether it is for tree-felling or running a telephone help desk.

"Prime contractors are typically national or global companies, but they need innovative smaller businesses to deliver the hard outputs. That might be a national specialist, regionally-focused business or a local enterprise."

A spokesman added: "These main contractors are responsible for forming their own supply chains and getting subcontractors. It is for them to determine their own timescales, but we would advise smalland medium-sized enterprises to start networking as early as possible."

Contracts commercial manager David McLaughlan said: "There is no single prescribed method and different prime contractors take different approaches."

More than 20 bidders submitted formal expressions of interest, including Lend Lease and Carillion Enterprise. The MoD has published their names to help small businesses take advantage of supply chain opportunities.

Contract leads

For a full list of companies that have bid for main contractor status, go to the Horticulture Week website at www.horticultureweek.

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