The North East Procurement Organisation, (NEPO) has signalled its ambitious growth plans, as it rebrands and relocates to the Northern Design Centre.

The 35-strong team has moved from the Guildhall, Newcastle Quayside, and will adopt a hybrid working model. During the year NEPO will also recruit a number of senior procurement specialists to deliver on its ambitious 2025 vision.

Established in 1976, NEPO develops and manages procurement solutions for the public sector in areas of high-spend and strategic importance, such as energy, construction, professional services and social care.

It works in partnership with 12 North East local authorities and delivers a portfolio worth over £700 million. From a private sector perspective, over 23,000 North East suppliers have registered on the NEPO Portal, 64% of which are SMEs.

NEPO’s work over the past year has added value to its North East local authority members at a time when the public sector has faced significant challenge. For every pound invested in NEPO membership, it creates a return on investment (ROI) of £6. A big part of that ROI is the social value delivered through its procurement solutions.

The cornerstone of the 2025 vision will see NEPO work even more collaboratively with its stakeholders, strategic partners and suppliers, to meet the challenges and opportunities that the North East faces, by delivering progressive procurement outcomes through innovative and commercial solutions.

Nicola Shelley, managing director, NEPO, said: “Over the last five years NEPO has helped to deliver the ambitions of the North East. In every community, jobs have been created, apprenticeships have started and a vast range of local suppliers have won new contracts. Underpinning all of this, we also delivered a significant return on investment of £23 million.

“Going forward, we want to further our ambitions and that will see us working collaboratively with our stakeholders, strategic partners and suppliers. Our aim is to be recognised as a national leader in procurement, the application of technology and in social value delivery.

“We will also provide the leadership needed to ensure that regional and local ambitions are achieved when it comes to the levelling up agenda. We will provide the flexibility needed to deliver the economic aspirations and ensure that value for money is achieved.

“As we develop, we must also attract and retain our loyal workforce to ensure that we have a mutually beneficial working environment and the correct people with the right skillset to drive us forward. We want to ensure that procurement is seen as a career route for individuals wanting to make a real difference.

“For all of these reasons we felt that now was the perfect time to rebrand, move to new offices and look to build on our current workforce with the recruitment of a number of additional procurement specialists. The move to our new office space was carefully considered and we felt that combined with a hybrid model, it would provide us with the ideal platform from which to build for the future.”