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Support British consortia to win the largest and most innovative contracts around the world

Last updated: 08:16pm 11 December 2019

We will take a more active role in supporting British consortia to win the largest and most innovative contracts around the world.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.15

Our verdict

Consortia are associations of actors joined under a common objective. Recent UK governments have favoured a consortia-based approach to boost international competitiveness, with initiatives including the Defence Growth Partnership, the UK International Healthcare Management Association and Crossrail. This is a pledge to take a “more active” role in supporting consortia to win the largest contracts in the world.

In July 2017, the government launched Infrastructure Exports: UK, bringing together 22 of the UK’s leading infrastructure firms to increase exports and identify gaps in the supply chain for foreign direct investment to fill. In September 2017, the government formed the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, fostering cooperation between departments and infrastructure companies to support access to developing markets across the continent.

In August 2018, the government published its Export Strategy, reaffirming the intention to continue support for consortia, and committing to promote trade missions, convene businesses to form new consortia and use UK Export Finance to bring together the supply chain – which resulted in the largest loan to an African country to date for the Kaabale airport in Uganda.

At the end of its term, the government has played an active role in consortia support and formation. However, comparing this work with previous governmental drives towards a consortia-led approach, we don’t see a significantly more proactive stance. As a result, this policy remains ‘in progress’.

Consort with the details!

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