The economic impact of Belfast City Council’s spend

Over the last six years, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies has undertaken a number of pieces of work around public procurement. Our emphasis has been upon three things. First, upon understanding and evidencing where public procurement monies go and the catalytic impact they have on local economies. Second, upon altering the culture of procurement officers (predominantly in local government) and the processes and practices they adopt to buy goods and services. Third, upon ensuring procurement is linked to and addresses issues around unemployment, business development and alleviating poverty.

The quantitative findings of the work were designed to provide Belfast City Council with a baseline understanding of their impact against which they could measure progress in the future. Using this positive work and the gaps in practice as a basis, CLES offered Belfast City a series of recommendations as to how they could maximise the impact of their spend. Whilst directly a result of a specific study, we also feel that these recommendations are applicable to other authorities and institutions.

CLES Findings 4- The economic impact of Belfast City Council’s spend