Press Release

Prime Minister joins Balfour Beatty to celebrate £1 billion supply chain spend with small business

29 May 2014


On 27 May, the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable David Cameron MP, joined Balfour Beatty for its announcement of a record £1 billion spend with small business in 2014.  

The spend, which will be the largest ever by a UK construction company, was announced by Nicholas Pollard, Balfour Beatty’s UK construction Chief Executive Officer, accompanied by the Prime Minister and alongside local small business partners at Balfour Beatty’s Westminster student accommodation project for Urbanest.  

The £1 billion spend represents a 33% increase on Balfour Beatty’s 2013 small business spend and will drive consistent UK wide growth as the economy recovers, also  supporting the Government’s goal of 25% of central Government spend going to small and medium sized businesses by 2015. 

Balfour Beatty’s UK construction business is the largest in the UK with over 8,000 active supply chain partners, over 75% of which are small and medium sized businesses, working on over 1,000 live projects across the UK at any one time. Balfour Beatty’s own UK workforce amounts to over 20,000 and through its UK supply chain the business provides work and training for people from all educational backgrounds. The £1 billion spend will contribute to supporting around 200,000 jobs within smaller businesses, 50,000 more than in 2013.  

The Prime Minister, said: “Giving businesses the confidence to invest and create jobs is a key part of our long term economic plan.  

“Balfour Beatty’s commitment to spend a record £1bn on small and medium sized businesses this year is very welcome evidence that this plan is working - supporting thousands of jobs within small and medium businesses, which will give hard-working people economic security for the future.”    

Nicholas Pollard, Chief Executive Officer, Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK, said: “We are delighted the Prime Minister could be with us today to celebrate our £1 billion spend with small businesses this year, 98% of which are British companies. 

“Small businesses create local jobs and apprenticeships and they are the innovators, engineers and exporters of the future. We are committed to supporting them so that we can build a better Britain together; leaving a lasting legacy in the communities we touch across the UK.” 

Jonathan Howard, Director at Robert West, a small business providing temporary works and scaffolding, based in London Bridge and working on the Westminster student accommodation project, said; “We have seen that Balfour Beatty is committed to close and collaborative relationships with locally-based small businesses like ourselves.  

“The stability of our relationship with Balfour Beatty allows us to thrive and progress as a business and we welcome additional investment being targeted at smaller businesses like ours. 

“We certainly support Balfour Beatty’s commitment to increasing spending with small and growing businesses like ours.” 

Balfour Beatty’s ‘Sustainability Blueprint’ commits it to position sustainability at the heart of its business strategy. The Blueprint includes ambitious targets on the employment of local supply chain members, with performance monitored on every project against specific criteria, which sets Balfour Beatty apart from its rivals. The company is the only UK contractor to have its supply chain spend independently audited to confirm spend with small and medium sized businesses and women-owned business.  

Today’s commitment supports Balfour Beatty’s other supply chain initiatives and achievements such as the Supply Chain Sustainability School1; its achievement of the Supplier Diversity Europe accreditation2; becoming one of the first FTSE companies to sign up to the Government’s Great Business Exchange and its pledges to support smaller businesses3; its first rank out of 500 global companies for its Supplier Code of Conduct by the Red Flag Group4 and the launch of its voluntary supply chain finance scheme5.

Find out more about Construction Services UK

Media enquiries:

Scott Wilson
Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK
Tel. +44 (0)20 7963 2150

Notes to editors:

1.  Balfour Beatty participates in the Supply Chain Sustainability School, which has provided opportunities to over 700 of its small and medium sized supply chain partners to ensure that they meet increasing national government sustainability requirements in bids for work. These requirements include increasing the recycling of materials, reduction of carbon emissions and direct water use.   

2.  Balfour Beatty has been externally assessed against the accessible supply chain benchmark delivered by Supplier Diversity Europe (SDE). The benchmark has four levels; foundation, intermediate, established and advanced. Each level focuses on practice in seven areas and involves close cooperation between senior management and supplier diversity leadership, buyers, internal and external stakeholders, existing and potential suppliers. In 2013 Balfour Beatty achieved ‘Established’ status (level ¾) which recognises our progress towards becoming exemplary practitioners of supplier diversity. The company is working towards achieving advanced status in 2014.  

3.  In February, Balfour Beatty became one of the first FTSE companies to sign up to and make pledges to Business Exchange, a scheme to link up large and small businesses in association with HM Government, and Enterprise Nation. This included pledges to openness and transparency in reporting, to working with key suppliers to measure and increase indirect spend with smaller businesses and social value through our supply chain, to publicly recognise and reward our most innovative smaller supply chain partners and to support 300 smaller businesses within our supply chain in 2014 with free access to training and development opportunities for their employees.  

4.  Balfour Beatty has been ranked first out of 500 global companies, for its Supplier Code of Conduct by the Red Flag Group, the global compliance consulting firm, ahead of leading firms such Apple and Rolls Royce.    

5.  Balfour Beatty’s Voluntary Supply Chain Finance Scheme was launched in September last year and has provided funds of over £25million since then. The scheme enables supply chain partners to access funds earlier than payment terms define in return for a small finance charge, cheaper than typical commercial lending rates, to cover scheme administration costs.  

6.  Balfour Beatty’s UK and Ireland construction business ( is a leading integrator of complex, sophisticated and innovative projects that improve the UK’s and Ireland’s national infrastructure and an experienced provider of local and regional projects that help build lasting communities. We offer a broad range of capabilities in construction, civil engineering and mechanical & electrical engineering services. With offices throughout the UK and Ireland, we deliver a locally-focused service with the support of our national network of expertise and resources. Balfour Beatty’s UK and Ireland construction business employs over 9,000 people.  

7.  Balfour Beatty ( is an international infrastructure group that delivers world class services essential to the development, creation and care of infrastructure assets; from finance and development, through design and project management to construction and maintenance. Our businesses draw on more than 100 years of experience to deliver the highest levels of quality, safety and technical expertise to our clients principally in the UK and the USA, with developing businesses in Australia, Canada, the Middle East, South Africa and South East Asia. With proven expertise in delivering infrastructure critical to support communities and society today and in the future, our key market sectors focus on infrastructure - transportation (roads, rail and aviation), power and energy, water and complex buildings (both commercial and social). Balfour Beatty employs 40,000 people around the world.   

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