North Ayrshire Council is 'keeping it local' with bosses revealing they had given more than a quarter of its contracts to suppliers in the area.

North Ayrshire’s cabinet heard on Tuesday that 182 different procurement exercises were undertaken and this resulted in contracts being awarded to 218 suppliers with a total value of £117.9million.

This is in line with the policy of community wealth building which involves finding firms from the area to award work to.

The council has a legal obligation to publish a contract register, procurement strategy, and procurement annual report detailing a two-year plan of future tendering opportunities.

It spent a total of £221.5m with 3,829 suppliers. Some £57.7m (26 per cent) was spent in North Ayrshire with 926 suppliers.

This was an increase of £6.5m from the previous year, meaning the target set in the council plan of 26 per cent has been reached.

The top 16 local suppliers, with spend over £1m, received 60 per cent of the £57.7m (£34.7m).

Meanwhile, the council’s business support team continue to work closely with the corporate procurement unit (CPU) to identify capable local suppliers and keep them informed on upcoming opportunities.

The combined spend for North Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the University of the West of Scotland is over £834m with £71m (8.5 per cent) being spent with local North Ayrshire suppliers.

Community benefits delivered include 3,514 employment weeks equating to 67 jobs and 32 wish list projects.

North Ayrshire Council leader Marie Burns said: “All of the anchor organisations agree that progress is going in the right direction.

"It would be good to see if we could find out more about the sub contractors; some of them could be local North Ayrshire companies.”

Cabinet member for finance Christina Larsen said: “This is a great report and good to see who the local spend has increased over the last 10 years and that we have reached 26 per cent I was just wondering if you knew what we could do to improve that as our target is 30 per cent.”

Officer Suzanne Quinn added: “We will try to engage as early as we can in the process with our local suppliers with our support and development team and that means we are encouraging suppliers to bid for all kinds of procurements.

“We will also encourage them to bid for national frameworks. We would join up with our business support and development team so that hopefully in future local suppliers can win more contracts and higher value contracts.”