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MPA welcomes new procurement guidance

Greg Clark MP

Changes make it easier for UK cement and concrete producers to bid for government contracts

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has welcomed the Government’s publication of new procurement guidance encompassing key construction materials, including cement.

Data published on 13 December indicate how the Government plans to use local construction materials in infrastructure work across 18 separate projects by 2020, including rail and roads, and in construction, such as building and housing refurbishment.

The announcement is in line with the new National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, which sets out more than £500 billion worth of planned private and public investment over this parliament and beyond.

Changes to procurement guidance announced by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy will make it easier than ever before for UK producers to plan and bid for upcoming government contracts.

Cement and concrete are essential for the development of UK infrastructure and housing. In particular, 90% of new housing is constructed from modern masonry, especially concrete blocks, and these houses can meet and exceed all the new regulations including energy efficiency. 

The MPA is working with the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Crown Commercial Service to develop government guidance for local procurement for cement and concrete.

This will extend beyond the current guidance for designers, which advises use of BES6001 to specify responsibly and ethically sourced concrete and masonry. 

Responding to this announcement, Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘Cement and concrete are essential for UK infrastructure development and housing, and contribute significantly to the UK economy.

‘We welcome this announcement from Greg Clark MP (pictured), which reconfirms the Government’s commitment to infrastructure capital expenditure, and supports the future of a local cement industry.

‘The cement and concrete industries employ 18,179 people across the regions, including in rural areas, and are key enablers for the Industrial Strategy. 

‘We will continue to work with officials at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Crown Commercial Service to ensure that this announcement progresses on the ground.

‘We will also continue to press government to support locally sourced mineral products and ensure local procurement guidance is available to specifiers.’

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