September 27, 2021

Organisations with social aims join forces to simplify National Procurement Service procedure

Ministry of Furniture, the company which emerged from Remploy Furniture, is collaborating with Merthyr Tydfil Institute for the Blind (MTIB) to combine key competencies for the benefit of National Procurement Service (NPS) members in the provision of workplace and education furniture.

The collaboration will allow purchasers the opportunity to benefit from a simplified procurement procedure, whilst simultaneously working with two Welsh manufacturers with social aims and demonstrable expertise in remanufacturing and the circular economy.

To engage with these collaborative organisations, NPS members are given the option to support lot 3 of their contracts.

When opting for lot 3, purchase orders will be placed with Ministry of Furniture, which will provide the first point of customer engagement. The company will also provide project management, estimating, interior design, bid management, light manufacturing and installation services. It will be the prime ‘contractor’ on any live project and provide the financial ledger for invoicing and applications for payments.

Merthyr Tydfil Institute for the Blind (MTIB) is a charity and company limited by guarantee, whose mission is to provide people with disabilities the opportunity for sustained employment.

Founded in 1923 to support local blind miners, MTIB have been successfully providing training, development and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and health conditions for almost 100 years.

Alongside the delivery of its employment and training programmes, MTIB’s 90% disabled workforce, operates its supported business manufacturing facility that supplies wooden frames, card, fibreboard and furniture components to the furniture and office furniture industry.

MTIB will be the primary manufacturer and supplier of furniture under lot 3 of the NPS contract. It will also help to develop bespoke product solutions alongside Ministry of Furniture’s design team, and will provide production labour, materials and appropriate storage for the furniture it produces.

Paul Griffiths, Head of Commercial Delivery and Capability at the Welsh Government, said:

“We are delighted to see Ministry and MTIB working together. It brings together two Welsh social enterprises who are dedicated to helping the disadvantaged find real and fulfilling employment. Being two Welsh based manufacturers, they’re a powerful example of how our foundation economy can support economic recovery lessening Wales’ dependency on global supply chains. Their remanufacturing capabilities fully embrace Beyond Recycling – our Circular Economy Strategy for Wales.”

Graham Hirst, Ministry Group CEO, said:

“We are delighted to be collaborating with MTIB to produce furniture solutions for businesses and educational institutions throughout Wales.

“This collaboration will provide a compelling solution for NPS customers that want to deliver a sustainable solution for their workplace and education furniture requirements. It will also give the added value of delivering tangible and impactful high-value community benefits for the Welsh economy.”

Richard Welfoot, MTIB CEO, said:

“MTIB are excited to be collaborating with Ministry as it provides the organisation with the opportunity to significantly develop its product range and service offering to customers. However, more importantly, it will help sustain the employment of our existing disabled workforce and provide further job opportunities for people with disabilities and health conditions within our Welsh localities.”