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Advertising & Seeking Tenders for Building Works

This section describes ways of appointing a building or conservation firm to carry out grant-aided repairs in compliance with procurement regulations. Advertising and seeking tenders for the works will usually be part of the services you ask your architect, building surveyor or quantity surveyor to carry out on your behalf. You should make sure that he/she reads the guidance below.

The procurement process

Advertising and seeking tenders for the building works forms part of your Procurement Strategy which must be approved by Historic England. You can use our 'Procurement Strategy' form for this purpose.

Appointments must therefore be made following the relevant processes set out below.

Aggregation

Please note that thresholds outlined below also apply where you expect to carry out several phases of work to the same building or site within a five-year period. This is called aggregation. So, where you anticipate several phases, your professional adviser should add up the total contract value for the whole five-year period to find out which threshold applies.

Where the expected value is just below a threshold you may want to follow the process for that threshold in case the cost does increase.

Small projects

Small projects (up to £10,000) are unlikely to need to go through a tender process. However, it will be necessary to obtain three written quotations on the basis of an open and transparent process, which clearly states the criteria (where applicable) upon which the contract will be awarded.

Contracts below £50,000

Where the total contract value is expected to be below £50,000, at least three tenders should be obtained for the work from contractors with relevant experience of working with historic buildings and monuments. The tenders must be on the basis of an open and transparent process which clearly states the criteria (where applicable) upon which the contract will be awarded.

Contracts above £50,000

Where the total contract value is expected to be above £50,000 but the total grant from public bodies is no more than 50%, at least three tenders should be obtained for the work from contractors with relevant experience of working with historic buildings and monuments. These tenders must be on the basis of an open and transparent process which clearly states the criteria (where applicable) upon which the contract will be awarded.

However, where the total tender value is expected to be over £50,000 and total public grants are more than 50%, your professional adviser will need to advertise on your behalf for expressions of interest in the work, setting out how a shortlist will be chosen.

Advertising

The purpose of advertising is to extend the opportunities for suitable contractors to compete for publicly funded works. You may advertise in appropriate regional or national press/ journals or online, or both. Firms who respond to your advertisement should be scored against the selection criteria listed in the tender documents.

Other large projects

For a handful of very large projects there is a further requirement to advertise in the Official Journal of the European Union. You are therefore advised to check the detailed guidance and current thresholds for publicly funded works that can be found on the Official Journal of the European Community website.

The threshold is currently £4,322,012 where total public grants are more than 50%. Under EU regulations, there is a distinction between works and services. We are satisfied that grant-aided repairs can be treated as works.

For further guidance, please phone your contact in our local office.

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