Investing locally in Bolton

Published 29 July 2022

Through our strategic partnership with Bolton Borough Council, Clear Futures has been investing in Bolton’s local economy, communities and journey to net zero since 2019.

We work hand-in-hand with the council and key local stakeholder groups to understand local needs and address challenges through a planned pipeline of activity. A key priority is keeping the Bolton pound local, investing in local businesses and driving inclusive growth.

Planning and delivering on social value

Each project and service delivered through Clear Futures has a Social Value Impact Plan, reported through the National TOMs framework portal to demonstrate the added value achieved and ensure we deliver on our commitments.

How this works on the ground

An estates and facilities management contract delivered through Clear Futures by our Tier 1 supply chain partner Robertson Facilities Management (RFM) spent £9m+ with the local supply chain between May 2019 to October 2022. RFM has also expanded its team by hiring locally, and continually supports local engagement through events such as Meet the Buyer, hosted by Clear Futures to promote networking and engagement between local SMEs and our Tier 1s.

spend with local supply chain May 19-Oct 2022
locals employed

“When I met with the Workshop Team at Bolton Council I’d been unemployed for over a year – the team helps people overcome barriers to work by providing work experience placements. They arranged an interview with Clear Futures in Bolton who offered me a work placement with the Robertson Facilities Management team. This gave me fantastic insight into FM and its operations. As the placement came to its end Clear Futures told me that RFM wanted to offer me a role on their Estates Team which I happily accepted. I keep in touch with Clear Futures and help them out whenever they put on events to help local companies or support local people like me. Joining Robertson FM has made a real impact on my personal life and professional development.” Kashif Faruqui, Information Technician Robertson FM since 2019

Each month we bring together a Social Value Working Group Forum with all Tier 1s and local stakeholders including the DWP, Jobs Centre+, Bolton CVS, Bolton at Home and Bolton University to identify mutual opportunities to deliver more quality social value locally.

We use this time to discuss upcoming opportunities on our Clear Futures Bolton delivery programme – such as employment opportunities on projects coming to site, local education engagement opportunities, materials and resources becoming available for reuse – and how we can best match the opportunity to an individual or group.

Supporting local SMEs

Our pre-procured T1 contractors include Wilmott Dixon, BAM, Seddon Construction, Eric Wright Construction and Robertson. Each partner understands the importance of delivering social value that will make a meaningful difference in Bolton.

How this works on the ground

  • Our ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Bolton Town Hall provided a fantastic opportunity for over 70 local businesses to connect and discuss upcoming work opportunities with our T1s and find out how our local partners – Bolton Business Connect, GM Chamber of Commerce and GM Growth Hub – could support them. Local Bolton businesses were joined by SMEs from Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.
  • Multiple attendees were invited to tender for work released by Robertson Facilities Management, and our supply chain database is helping local businesses secure work.
local businesses at ‘Meet the Buyer’
with a Bolton postcode

 “The event at Bolton Town Hall was an amazing opportunity for businesses in Bolton to engage with Clear Futures, working alongside Bolton Business Connect’s online platform to support and develop strong business partnerships, which will help boost our local economy and make it easier to do business in Bolton. It’s a great initiative”. Councillor Adele Warren, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development

Learning for development

If we’re to stimulate the local economy and social development then we need to help SMEs reach their full potential so they can successfully secure more work and support local employment. Working with our local and supply chain partners we’re delivering programmes of learning to support work winning and responsible business practices.

How this works on the ground

Over a week-long series of virtual workshops, Clear Futures held a SME development programme in collaboration with T1 partners. The aim was to help local organisations access opportunities they’d learned about at the Meet the Buyer so they can grow and develop their businesses.

  • Work winning: Seddon Construction explained the bid process, how to write a successful bid and identify better quality work opportunities.
  • Decarbonisation: Eric Wright debunked decarbonisation jargon and showed how to initiate ‘small win’ measures to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Health, safety and wellbeing: Robertson Construction gave SMEs advice on getting their workforce home safe and promoting employee health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Social value: Clear Futures discussed the types of social value that benefit the local community, economy and environment, how to benchmark social value delivery and generating local opportunities.
SMEs attended workshops

Two follow-on projects are being held in summer 2022: 

  • Seddon are delivering an in-person workshop, ‘Supply Chain and PAS91 – The Expert Guide’ in August that will deep dive into a supply chain PQQ. 
  • Robertson will deliver a virtual workshop walking through real examples of bids to discuss ‘what good looks like’. 

All upcoming work opportunities are advertised on Bolton Business Connect and Clear Futures LinkedIn.