The Together Gloucestershire team met on Friday 22 September and we thought it would be good to share an update with everyone about the outcomes, what is happening, what you can do and what happens next.

The meeting provided an update on the status of the project.  The two main activities are the application for funding and the Pledge.  The funding application is progressing and the project hopes to have at least some funds in place by the end of November (public sector funding was delayed by a change in criteria).  The pledge will be part of the joining process and is still being developed.  It needs to work for businesses of all sizes and have clear objectives and rationale.

Much of the discussion at the meeting was lead by Sam Holliday and their campaign around government spend with SMEs and how the process can be simplified from both sides of the procurement process and where government needs to take a lead and provide an environment where local procurement is high on the agenda.

There continues to be examples of contracts being awarded outside of the county and its immediate surroundings sometimes due to lack of engagement with local businesses or lack of awareness of this opportunity.

Several next steps were agreed predominantly aimed at joining more of the dots.  The main thing for all businesses to do at the moment is to keep talking about the subject and the opportunity and spreading the word.

The next steps are for the funding application to go to committee, for the private sector funding discussions to be progressed and for the Pledge to be further refined.  Discussions are also underway to provide training and support around the pledge, the procurement process and the implementation of the Together Gloucestershire database and platform.

The meeting was attended by:

Adam Vines (Lounge Design/Cirencester Chamber of Commerce), Qing Lin (Join in China), Philip McLaughlin (Jaslyn), Mike Cameron Davies (Business Transformation) Pete Allison (County Business Shows), Grace Baker (Spirax Sarco), Dev Chakraborty (GFirst LEP), Peter Yates, Dominique Gregory (Gloucester County Council)  Sam Holliday (FSB), Fiona Reid (Renishaw), Kate Edington (Hazelwoods), Suzanne Booker (Lillian Faithful), Gary Thompson (Gloucestershire Constabulary), Lindsey Young (Clarkson Evans), Ciaran O’Kane (Publica), Paul James (Cotswold District Council), John Waring (SJP), Corey McIntyre (Cheltenham Borough Council), Lindsey Holland (Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce)