Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is to give greater weight to local social value in its £100m-a-year major procurements.
Under its new social value framework, benefits to the local community will become a more important factor in contract awards, for example training and employment of local people, use of local suppliers or the offer of apprenticeships.
The authority, which covers Merseyside, said it spends more than £100m a year and the social value requirement would apply to all contracts worth more than £20,000.
Elected mayor, Labour’s Steve Rotheram, said: “As a public body, we have a duty to ensure that every pound we spend and every decision we take positively impacts the communities that we represent. Delivering prosperity for our city region is not just about maximising the financial value that we are able to generate, but the social value too.”
Mr Rotheram said factors that reflected social value could see contracts go to projects led by underrepresented groups, improving people’s ability to find work, or energy efficiency measures in homes.
The authority already does business with local community organisations and social businesses through its community suppliers list, and providing jobs and training including for hard-to-reach groups is written into its housing retrofit contracts.
In the longer term the authority will seek to use its purchasing power to improve working conditions and wages through the supply chain and may develop opportunities for suppliers to give money to social value projects.
Social value will also be made part of the authority’s spatial development strategy and engagement with communities.