Wigan Council has enjoyed a tidy little windfall of more than a third of a million pounds.
YPO, the UK’s largest publicly owned buying organisation, has delivered £378,171 in public sector dividends to the town hall: a slice of an overall £7.8m being given back to local authorities across the country to help drive economic growth at local level.
Despite a sustained period of challenging budget cuts across the public sector, YPO saw a strengthened financial performance for its member authorities, of which Wigan is one.
By using YPO’s centralised contracts to deliver essential services such as apprenticeship training, human resources, facilities management and food services in 2018/19, YPO’s members and associate members all receive a share of profits which are paid back to them to invest in local services.
YPO has also provided a boost to the wider local economy by spending £1,195,673 with businesses and suppliers in the Wigan area, helping to generate a “social profit” figure of £2,570,157 for the borough.
YPO managing director Simon Hill said, “We are very proud of this result as we know that the dividend we provide increasingly helps to fund crucial frontline services. Indeed 20 per cent of our total dividend is returned directly to schools through our loyalty scheme, helping to support stretched finances in the education sector.”
A string of firsts for YPO has seen the organisation sign a ground breaking agreement with Amazon Business to provide the public sector with compliant access routes to millions of suppliers across the UK. Local authorities using this framework will see dividend payments return as part of a percentage of every product purchased.
Last year also YPO launch the UK’s first national apprenticeship framework, the only one of its kind online procurement portal which allows the public sector access to apprenticeship training from a range of local and national suppliers. The framework acts as a database and service, listing a diverse range of apprenticeship training with registered providers across the country.
A unique investment in Edtech Impact, an online platform for education technologies, also demonstrates how the organisation continues to seek innovative ways to give more back to its members. Developed by Innovate My School, Edtech Impact is a start-up business that provides education technology solutions for schools.
“The new online platform will help schools access a range of specialist education technology suppliers, placing YPO at the forefront of the coming Edtech revolution,” said Mr Hill. “The platform will benefit all primary and secondary schools across the country, as well as over 1,000 providers.”
Working with The Social Profit Calculator, YPO has analysed spending with its supply base to provide a Social and Economic Impact Assessment as part of its annual report, which includes factors such as employment and economic benefit. For every pound spent, the social and economic value was found to be more than double.
While the dividends directly benefit the public purse financially, the extra services YPO offers provides additional value and year-round support for local authorities and public sector organisations.