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Council to give free masterclasses to boost local businesses

Cheshire East Council is to hold another series of free masterclasses to help business people learn how to win public sector contracts.

Small and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to sign-up for one of three free sessions being organised in association with the borough’s chambers of commerce. Previous masterclasses have been highly rated by participants, with 100 per cent recommending them to other businesses.

The next events are on:

● 18 September 2019 – at Harts Ltd, Macclesfield.

In association with North Cheshire Chamber of Commerce;

● 27 November 2019 – at Riverside, Congleton.

In association with East Cheshire Chamber of Commerce; and

● 19 February 2020 – at Wychwood Park, Crewe.

In association with South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce.

Businesses should book places at www.eventbrite.com and search under ‘Tendering in Cheshire East’.

Each masterclass will explain how public sector procurement works, the different frameworks in public sector contracts and how to identify the best opportunities.

Based on three key areas, find, bid and win, businesses will also have the opportunity to quiz the council’s own procurement team on how they evaluate bids and award tenders.

Olivia Ryder, managing director of COS Recruitment, an established recruitment agency based in Macclesfield, attended a previous masterclass and found it very beneficial.

She said: “The masterclass covered everything I was looking to find out – an organised step-by-step guide to the practicalities of finding, evaluating and preparing a winning tender. 

“The presentation was dynamic, engaging and delivered in a down-to-earth, jargon-free manner. It had exactly the right balance of providing the useful information needed, as well as answering the specific issues of the audience.”

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “Whether you are new to tendering or looking to improve, these masterclasses offer an invaluable opportunity to learn new skills, identify your strengths and unique selling points and help you win more tenders to secure growth.”

The public sector is a massive market opportunity. By 2020, the UK government hopes to award 33 per cent of its procurement budget to smaller businesses, out of a total UK public sector spend of around £200bn a year. Cheshire East Council alone spends around £260m annually on contracts, supplies and services with third parties.

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