UKstructural steel stockists should be assessed in terms of their total potentialvalue to the British economy in procurement processes – and not just in termsof raw costs, according to the British Constructional Steelwork Association.

The BCSAwarns that UK structural steel stockists and building contractors risk losingout on heavy infrastructure projects due to low bids from overseas.

However,assessing bids on overall cost alone fails to take into account thecontribution made by the UK steel industry to wider economic factors, includingthe jobs market.

SarahMcCann-Bartlett, director general of the BCSA, says: “We need afundamental shift in procurement guidelines to consider best value, not costalone.”

According tothe BCSA, spending £1 on construction of infrastructure projects withstructural steel from UK steel suppliers and work carried out by British firmsleads to £2.84 being generated for the wider economy.

MsMcCann-Bartlett adds that chances to begin making this change in the wayBritish procurement is viewed will begin with the Mersey Gateway Bridge scheme- and the BCSA is undertaking the Rebuilding Britain campaign to help make sureprocurement is viewed in terms of overall benefits in the future.