Are Sheffield firms missing out on a slice of £90m council roofing project?

Jamie Denman and the roofing repairs being carried out in Woodhouse
Jamie Denman and the roofing repairs being carried out in Woodhouse
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Are Sheffield firms missing out on a slice of a £90 million council roofing project?

Sheffield Council has begun renovating the roofs of around 24,000 homes across the city as part of a five-year investment in council housing.

But one council tenant has spoken of his disappointment after seeing work being carried out on his estate by companies based in Leeds and Doncaster.

Jamie Denman, who lives on New Cross Drive, on the Severnside estate in Woodhouse, said: "I think it's wrong that the council's not using local firms to carry out this work.

"I know personally of four companies in Woodhouse who do scaffolding, and two roofing firms, and that's just Woodhouse. There must be lots of companies across Sheffield who could have been contracted to do this work.

"There are not many jobs around and this is a big contract so it would be nice to see them giving the opportunity to local businesses employing workers from the area."

The 50-year-old assistant bar manager, who has four children, said the firms he saw carrying out work on the estate were Jennings Roofing from Leeds and a scaffolding company called SJS from Doncaster, both of which are believed to be sub-contractors.

A council spokeswoman said it had awarded the contract for the renovations to four businesses - Keepmoat, Kier, BAAS Building & Construction and SBS Roofing - after carrying out a competitive bid process as it is legally required to do.

"The firms are using local employees and some local sub-contractors. But they are also using other companies due to the amount of work required," she added.

"We always try and boost local employment and skills through our projects and 27 new apprenticeships will be delivered through the pitched roofing programme, as well as four internships and 28 work experience opportunities.

"Our contractors are set targets on providing work experience and apprentice employment."

Keepmoat's registered office is in Doncaster, and Kier's is in Bedfordshire. BAAS Building & Construction is based in Manchester and SBS Roofing is a Huddersfield company.

The council roofing project is in its early stages but work has already been completed at sites in Fox Hill, where it was carried out by Keepmoat, and in Lowedges, where Kier was responsible.