Liverpool civil and structural engineering firm Sutcliffe secures place on new framework and reports no staff or pay cuts despite COVID-19 lockdown. Tony McDonough reports
One of Liverpool’s best-known civil and structural engineering firms Sutcliffe has secured a place on four-year £500m procurement framework.
And the firm, which this year celebrates 35 years from business, says it has emerged from the COVID-19 crisis with no staff cuts and no reduction in pay among its 47-strong workforce thanks to a successful 2019.
The multi-disciplinary, BIM-accredited chartered consultants, which has offices in Liverpool, Manchester, North Wales and London, also cites having a healthy workbook before lockdown.
Sutcliffe has secured a place on the four-year Procure Partnerships Framework Professional Services Agreement, to cover structural engineering, civil and highway engineering, and principal design in the North West.
Managing director Sean Keyes said: “I am pleased to report that we have come through the first fight unscathed – we have retained all staff during this period, there have been no pay cuts, and most staff are now back in the office, as we focus on the future with confidence and stability.
“To be appointed to the Procure Partnerships Framework Professional Services Agreement is also fantastic news, and is thanks to Sutcliffe’s team of skilled consultants who deliver from concept to completion with authenticity and integrity.
“Of course, that is not to say the last six months have been easy, as I am sure many businesses will attest to. Like everyone in the industry, we have seen the market shrink and projects slow down.
“But we were in the fortunate position of going into the pandemic on the back of our most successful year to date, with a balanced and varied portfolio of sturdy clients. This has allowed us to be more measured and smart with our business decisions. The support from the Government, through the CBILS scheme and the staggering of VAT payments has also been welcome.”
Mr Keyes said the strategy for the next five years was to maintain its market share and tap into new territories, such as the Midlands. He added they were encouraged to see politicians at national and city region level – recognise the construction sector as key to the country’s growth post-COVID.
He added: “Sutcliffe is committed to ensuring young talent is harnessed and moulded ready for long-term, sustainable work in the industry – and we are planning to take on more apprentices each year than we ever have before.”
The Procure Partnerships Framework was established to support public sector bodies to procure supplier partners to help them deliver major capital projects and will run alongside its already established national contractor frameworks.