Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): CPN 7/2017

Construction policy advice for the public sector.


1. This construction policy note (CPN) provides a list of organisations who may be able to provide assistance and advice to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Key message

2. SMEs make up a significant proportion of the construction industry in Scotland and consequently make a significant contribution to the economy it is important that they are afforded the opportunities to compete for public contracts.

Target audience

3. This note is intended for all those contracting authority staff involved in the planning and delivery of public works projects.

Outline of Guidance

4. The Review of Scottish Public Sector Procurement in Construction quoted from Building for the Future, The Scottish Construction Industry’s Strategy 20132016, Construction Scotland which estimated that around 31,000 businesses employing around 170,000 people make up the construction industry in Scotland. The review also said that public sector expenditure on construction is in excess of £4 billion and for every £1 spent a further £2.94 is generated in the economy.  Two thirds of those who are employed in construction work for small firms, that is those which employ less than 50 people. 

Many of these companies find it difficult to compete for public sector work; there are a number of organisations who are able to provide assistance to them and a list of some of these is at Annex A.  This list is not exhaustive and if recipients are aware of others they are invited to notify the Construction Procurement Policy Unit at the address below.  Public contracting authorities are encouraged to engage with these organisations where appropriate and to encourage SMEs in their areas to do the same. 


5. Please bring this construction procurement note to the attention of all those staff involved in the procurement or delivery of construction activities.

Support for small and medium sized enterprises: CPN 7/2017


Construction Procurement Policy Unit
The Scottish Government
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

Tel:  0131 244 8492

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