Progressive Procurement in Manchester

CLES’ work with Manchester City Council over the last ten years has been trailblazing in shifting the way in which a local authority undertakes procurement. It has inspired changes in the behaviour of procurers and suppliers to generate real impacts for the Manchester economy and its residents. It has also inspired other authorities, institutions and places to think differently about the role of procurement in local economic development.


Dull, technical and bureaucratic are words often associated with the process of procurement. However, when you consider the hundreds of millions of pounds involved for councils, and in the context of dwindling funds and resources, its role has become central. Over the past ten years, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has worked closely with Manchester City Council to transform the way it undertakes procurement for the benefit of local people and places.

CLES’ approach

Our collaborative work has been informed by the following questions:

  1. With an annual procurement spend of £900million (2008 figures), where does that money go in terms of geography, sector, and business and what wider impact does it have on the Manchester economy and its residents?
  2. Procurement officers are trained to think about the importance of cost and quality in decision-making; how can we also get them to think about wider issues and the contribution potential suppliers can make to delivering wider social value outcomes?
  3. A lot of money is spent on suppliers delivering goods and services contracts; how can we get them to deliver more for the Manchester economy and residents both directly and indirectly?


Manchester City Council


  1. Understanding the impact of procurement spend and
  2. Changing the procurement process
    • increasing spend with Manchester and Greater Manchester organisations
    • Increases in spend with SMEs
    • More mature purchaser to supplier relationship
  3.  Influencing behaviour change in suppliers
    • Increases in supplier re-spend

Find out more

Power of Procurement II

MCC spend analysis 2016/17

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Get in touch to find out how we can help you to:

  • Draw together anchor institutions into a collective partnership
  • Analyse the existing impact of anchor institutions
  • Shift your processes and practices around procurement
  • Review change in behaviour
  • Facilitate wider networks