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Consultants manage British Library's £40m retendering exercise

08 July 2009

CCP project consultants have completed a key procurement project for the British Library for service contracts to the value of £40m, including catering, cleaning and engineering services, as required under EU rules.

To support its operations, with over 2,000 staff and 16,000 people accessing their collections each day, the British Library contracts with numerous external suppliers, including those for its Catering, Cleaning and Engineering services. When these contracts were due for renewal, as required by EU legislation, the British Library needed to undertake a major procurement exercise for retendering and required specialist project management skills and expertise.

CCP were engaged by the British Library to manage the end-to end procurement project for catering, cleaning and engineering which had to be undertaken to the highest possible standards – ensuring that the British Library obtained the quality services it needed whilst demonstrating value for money. The project was also subject to scrutiny by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Gateway Review process to ensure that best practice techniques were utilised.

The total value of these service contracts is in the region of £40m and therefore very significant to the British Library’s operation. The catering contractor provides services to staff and visitors in London and to staff in Boston Spa; the cleaning contractor services the St Pancras site internally and externally for all staff and public areas; the engineering contractor delivers all support to the British Library’s physical infrastructure, e.g. temperature control and maintenance of plant and the building fabric – where the environmental conditions are critical in conserving the national collection which includes the Magna Carta.

Such a major procurement exercise had a very high profile within the public sector, not least down to the scrutiny of the OGC Gateway team where CCP also managed the relationship and communications on the Library’s behalf. As with any project, it was important that all parties involved worked towards the same goal. CCP’s experience in managing and communicating with all internal and external stakeholders was fundamental to driving the project to a successful conclusion.

David Read, Head of Customer Service at the British Library comments: “In my experience, CCP have a unique combination of managing relationships and the project process whilst focusing on a successful outcome”, continues David. “They are very quick to pick up on company culture and work within it, to the extent that you would think they were part of our own organisation. The real benefit has been the fact that we could rely on CCP to manage the project roadmap and do all the leg-work. Their work and the way it was carried out mitigated any risk of project failure. This left me and my team to focus on the overall strategy and effectively run a major project, but still carry on with the day job”.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, with over 2,000 staff working on sites located in London and Boston Spa. Its flagship building at St Pancras, next to the new Eurostar terminal, is visited by over one million people per annum and is the largest public building constructed in the UK for over 100 years.

CCP is a specialist project management consultancy working with private and public sector organisations for strategic project management, property management, facilities management and business change. Clients include the British Library, Specsavers Optical Group and the Food Standards Agency.

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