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The Corporation

Posted: 04/03/10

College scoops £5,000 for award win

West Nottinghamshire College has received £5,000 from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) after winning a prestigious national award.

Last month the college was presented with an Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award by Kevin Brennan MP, Minister of State for Further Education, for its smart procurement project which resulted in savings of more than £5 million.

The ‘DCSF, BIS and LSC Award for Smarter Procurement’ recognises imaginative ways in which colleges have managed their procurement activity, which may contribute to re-investment in supporting students.

At a local presentation ceremony held at the college’s Derby Road campus yesterday (3 March), Melinda Johnson, deputy director (commercial group) at the DCSF, presented a £5,000 cheque to deputy principal and finance director Andrew Martin and procurement manager Angie Pilgrim.

The cash prize was donated by the DCSF, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Introducing a procurement toolkit for staff is just one of the ways in which the college has achieved sustainable savings.  Meanwhile, working closely with suppliers has resulted in savings across a range of areas including printing, catering and transport costs.

The £5 million savings have been ploughed back into improving teaching resources, resulting in better facilities and helping to improve the retention of students.

The college used the presentation to share best practice with specially-invited guests and discuss the possibility of greater collaboration in the public sector on procurement projects.

Guests included award sponsors, key suppliers and members of the East Midlands Region Procurement Network.

Deputy principal and finance director, Andrew Martin, said: “I’m proud that our college is at the forefront of best practice and setting a positive example of what can be achieved by buying goods and services as efficiently as possible. Our procurement team are to be applauded for helping instil this culture throughout the whole organisation.

“The money saved has gone a long way to providing our students with the very best resources and equipment, which benefits their learning experience.”