Schools in Portsmouth and across the county make budget save of £4m in equipment purchases

Canoe Lake

Picture: Shaun Roster

Robbers target man on a bike at Canoe Lake

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SCHOOLS have saved almost £4m from their budgets this year, by buying classroom equipment from Hampshire County Council’s County Supplies unit.

Items such as pens, pencils and other equipment have been purchased by schools in Portsmouth and across Hampshire.

Councillor Mel Kendal, executive member for economic development, said: ‘We’re delighted so many schools and academies choose to spend their money by buying stationery and teaching equipment from County Supplies, in what is an increasingly competitive market.

‘It’s understandable that best value becomes the defining factor for the majority of our customers, who are in the public sector and are experiencing considerable financial pressures.’

The business unit recorded a record turnover of £35m in 2016/17.

It supplied equipment to more than 900 maintained schools and academies across Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight and also to neighbouring local authorities.

The agreements save schools approximately £3.9m a year, as the six leading competitors across the country are, on average, 40 per cent more expensive than County Supplies when compared against a shopping basket of more than 100 of the most popular products.

Councillor Kendal continued: ‘County Supplies’ turnover increased by 4.6 per cent in 2016/17 compared to the previous year, whilst Hampshire schools’ spend with competitors reduced by 20 per cent in the same period.

‘It’s important for County Supplies to remain competitive on price and to foster continued customer loyalty to provide value-for-money for schools.’