LHC (London Housing Consortium) is a Joint Committee of local authorities who are specialists in construction and property frameworks across England, Scotland and Wales.
They set up compliant frameworks for themselves and their clients to access approved suppliers. If you are a supplier, consultant or contractor working in the construction sector who either works with or wants to work with, the public sector LHC may present a great opportunity for business growth.
As an outsourced bid writing team we have helped many of our clients to secure places on these highly competitive LHC frameworks.
LHC Framework spend for the last published year of nearly £350m, which included:
- 205 construction, extension and refurb projects
- 224 roofing, windows and doors projects
- 128 property protection and maintenance projects
- 72 kitchen and bathrooms projects
- 92 energy efficiency projects.
The Joint Committee which manages LHC is made up of the following local authorities:
- Tower Hamlets
- Bucks CC
- Barking & Dagenham
Their clients, however, far exceed this list representing a broad range of public sector or public-funded bodies, including Councils, housing associations, NHS Trusts, Schools, Colleges and Universities, Police, Fire and registered charities. You can view a full list of LHC clients here.
LHC Operates under 5 local hubs:
- LHC – London and South East Region
- SWPA – South West Procurement Alliance
- WPA – Welsh Procurement Alliance
- SPA – Scottish Procurement Alliance
- CPC – Consortium Procurement Construction (North).
LHC Frameworks – Bid Writing Tips for SMEs
The good news is that LHC is committed to working with more SMEs and understands the importance smaller and local businesses play in their supply chain.
They currently have one DPS, which is designed by its nature to be more accessible for SMEs. Details below.
Most of their frameworks have value bands, which means as a bidder you can choose to bid for contracts only within a specific value. E.g. £0 - £500k, £500k - £1m, £1m to £2.5m, £2.5m - £5m, £5m plus. When having to provide relevant contract examples in your bid submission can really help you compete.
Its most recent frameworks have also made specific considerations to make them more accessible for SMEs. This includes Consultancy Services, Modern Methods of Construction and New Homes frameworks.
However, LHC frameworks are highly competitive. Your bids need to be highly competitive, evidence-based and persuasive.
Bid Writing Requirements for LHC
LHC frameworks are broad and cover a vast number of products, services and works. Here are a few key considerations for when you are creating a quality response:
- How can you demonstrate relevant experience for the lot and value band you are bidding for? Think references, testimonials and case studies
- How will I supply local site management and labour? What % of staff are based locally?
- How can you demonstrate capacity across wider regions? This will come down to your infrastructure, management and case studies
- How is the supply chain managed and developed? How do you make it local to the contract you are delivering?
- If relevant, how will you work with tenants/ residents? How do you gain access – do you have a defined process for this?
- Social Value and creating community benefits from their projects is also critical. For example, they have the Community Benefit Fund which received £325k in the last year which was invested in over 50 local, community projects. View our detailed and practical guide to Social Value here.
See our broader bid writing top tips here, which will help you secure your place on LHC frameworks.
How does an LHC Framework work?
LHC uses the portal In-tend. You can use this link to register on the portal to view tender opportunities and live frameworks.
For more tender and framework opportunities we have Tender Pipeline, which is free software to monitor tenders, and competitors and set email alerts.
Once you have found an LHC framework you want to bid for and is available, you need to register on the portal and register an interest. You will then be able to access full the tender pack for the framework. If you would like a quote to support the development of the quality responses for your bid please contact us now for a quote. We can provide a full bid management and bid writing service for LHC frameworks and call-offs or review your draft responses and provide feedback on how it could be improved to maximise your win rate.
Once successfully awarded the framework you will then be invited to compete for specific tender opportunities or call-offs/mini-competitions.
Bid writing support for LHC Framework?
Thornton & Lowe has been helping clients by providing leading bid writing and management services since 2009. We have helped many of our clients secure lucrative places on LHC frameworks, including asbestos, fire, consultancy and energy efficiency.
We help suppliers in the construction and building sector:
- Source the right frameworks and tenders
- Respond to tenders through the provision of our dedicated bid writing support services
- Retain and win new business in the public sector.
LHC Framework Overview
LHC develops approved frameworks or an approved list of suppliers for their University members to use. Via their agreements, they want to help Universities across the North West achieve value for money for the goods and services which they procure.
They have 19 frameworks and 1 DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System). A DPS is like a framework but continually and regularly open to new suppliers or additional products and services. We explain the difference between a DPS and a framework in our detailed article here.
The frameworks are broken into 6 categories:
LHC Construction, Extension and Refurbishment Frameworks
Modular Buildings (MB2) – 16 current suppliers across 4 building types (permanent modular buildings, healthcare buildings, hire of temporary buildings and refurbished units) and 3 value bands, £0 - £750k, £500k - £3m, £3m+.
New Build Housing Construction (H2) – 24 suppliers across low-rise housing, assisted and residential care homes, medium to high-rise developments, refurbishment, conversions, extensions and adaptations, grounds work and site preparation, and demolition, decontamination and site enabling works.
Offsite Construction of New Homes (NH2) – 11 suppliers covering volumetric, panelised, highrise and turnkey offsite building systems.
Public Buildings Construction and Infrastructure (PB3) - nearly 50 suppliers, across value bands from £0 to £2m, £2m to £7m, £7m - £14m, £14m to £25m and £25m plus. This covers the following projects, new build only, refurbishment only, new build and refurbishment, new build, and refurbishment and infrastructure.
Whole House Refurbishment and Associated Works (WH2) – ideal for contractors who refurbish tenanted properties, tower blocks, sheltered and supported housing, student accommodation and care homes, this framework is again broken into 5 value bands ranging from £250k, through to projects over £5m. Covering whole house refurbishment and multi-disciplinary projects ranging from kitchen and bathrooms (including repairs), landscaping, heating and electrical works, painting and decorating, disabled adaptations, gas fired central heating and upgrading of boilers, electric heating, roofing, cladding, windows doors (including fire doors) and fire detection, suppression systems and sprinklers.
LHC Roofing, Windows and Doors Frameworks
Doorsets, Fire Doors and Communal Entrance Doors (C8) – with 20 suppliers, this framework overs the supply and installation of composite doors, composite fire doors, timber doors, composite fire doors, communal entrance doors and access control.
Roofing Systems and Associated Works (RS4) - with 32 suppliers this framework includes the design, supply and installation of traditional flat roofing, liquid flat roofing, profiled metal roofing and traditional pitched roofing, which are either supplier or contractor-led.
Windows and Doors - Aluminium (A7) - with 7 suppliers all companies provide surveys and installation of various compliant and energy-efficient windows and doors. Including egress windows and doors, ventilation options including heat-producing appliances, triple glazing, special needs hardware and low door thresholds, enhanced security, high-performance glazing and curtain walling.
Windows & Doors – PVC-U & Timber (WD2) - this additional windows and doors framework covers fixed, side/top hung, tilt and turn, top hung / fully reversible, vertical sliding sash, single leaf residential door sets, French / patio door sets and low rise curtain walling.
LHC Property Protection and Maintenance Frameworks
Asbestos Services (AS2) - with 22 consultants and surveyors and 15 asbestos removal contractors this framework covers domestic and commercial consultants and removal and remediation and is suitable for all kinds of public sector buildings, ranging from flats, to garages, from sports halls to university buildings.
Fire Safety (FS1) – with 12 appointed companies this specialist fire services framework is broken into FS1-C Fire Consultancy and Risk Assessors and FS1-P Passive Fire Protection for both domestic and commercial buildings.
Vacant Property Protection and Associated Services (V7) – only 3 suppliers offering a full-service solution covering protection, clearance and cleaning, specialist cleaning and an out-of-hours call centre.
LHC Kitchens Framework
Kitchens and Associated Products (K7) – with 3 levels of kitchen units ranging from affordable, to premium and luxury this framework is designed for a broad range of public sector requirements – but is specifically to provide access to manufacturers.
LHC Energy Efficiency Framework
Energy Efficiency Measures & Associated Works (N8) – with over 30 suppliers this framework covers a wide range of energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, boilers (from biomass to traditional), solar PV, various heat pumps, district heating, rainscreen and cladding, lighting controls, EV charging infrastructure and building emery management systems.
LHC Consultancy Frameworks
Architect Design Services (ADS1.1) - designed for local authorities and housing associations this framework is broken into value bands, plus 7 lots depending on specialisms.
Energy Efficiency Consultancy Services (N8C) - covering building energy management such as energy surveys and BREEAM Assessments, through to Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and energy stock condition surveys and reports.
Engineering Inspection Services (EIS1) - this is a plant, machinery and equipment, broken into value bands and covering lifting equipment, electrical equipment, power press and mechanical systems, pressure plant, local exhaust ventilation, fall protection testing and inspection, and playground equipment.
Multi-Disciplinary Consultancy Services (MDC1) – covering architecture, building services engineers, building surveyors, clerk of works, quantity surveyors, employers agents, planning consultants, principal designers, project managers, structural engineers and civil engineers.
Offsite Project Integrator (OPI-1) – with 8 suppliers this framework covers both pre RIBA and RIBA Stages.
In addition to these frameworks LHC also has 1 DPS.
LHC Whole House Refurbishment (WH) DPS - this opportunity covers building works, good and services relating to building refurbishment and maintenance. There is no maximum number of suppliers, is more focused on finding compliant contractors, which can make it more accessible for SMEs. As well as your insurances and standard company information, you will also need only 1 previous relevant example if bidding for this LHC DPS.
While writing this article LHC also have the following frameworks ‘coming soon’/ be procured:
- Asset Safety and Compliance (ASC1)
- Consultancy Services (CS1)
- Modern Methods of Construction New Homes (NH3).
Bid Writing Success and Feedback:
“The responsiveness to our needs was first rate and nothing seemed to phase the T&L team. The quality of our bids improved substantially as a result of their support and most importantly we won the important bids we were targeting. The BSP programme was very cost effective as compared to having an in-house bid manager and gave us access to a range of bid experts”. Rob Whittle, REC
To view feedback from our existing clients, click here.
We have several detailed case studies highlighting what we have achieved for our clients who bid into the public sector, which can be found here.