Social Value can make Greater Manchester a better place

A Greener, Fairer and More Prosperous Greater Manchester - the role of Social Value

Addressing inequality is everyone’s business. Now is the time to act.

We want every business and organisation in Greater Manchester to understand how its activities can not only improve the prosperity of the city-region, but also contribute to making it a greener and fairer place. Using Social Value can help us to understand the impacts of our activities and carry them out in a way that creates long lasting benefits for the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of our communities.

At GMCA, we will lead the way – our ambition is to look for relevant and additional social, environmental and economic value from everything we do. For us, Social Value is about sustaining long term benefits through positive action now.

In our procurement and commissioning, we (GMCA) will realise this ambition through:

  • Making social value an integral part of service design and specification

  • Working with our supply chains to drive social value that is additional to the core contract purpose. Social value will form part of the evaluation on all procurement over threshold.

  • Improving supplier diversity by reserving some contracts for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) or Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) organisations

  • Supply chain development. By 2023 GMCA will only procure from companies that:

Further details were agreed by the CA at its meeting in March 2022 (PDF, 705KB) and a progress report was presented to the CA in March 2023. (PDF, 605KB)

GM Unit Cost Database

GMCA has developed a Unit Cost Database that can be used to provide financial inputs as part of your social value reporting. The database was developed with support from HM Treasury and a number of other Whitehall departments, who continue to quality assure updated versions. It brings together some 900 cost estimates into a single place, and covers crime, education and skills, employment and economy, environment, fire, housing, health and social services.

Greater Manchester Social Value Network

Get involved in the Greater Manchester Social Value Network (external website), which:

  • Collects information, evidence and examples of social value from across Greater Manchester
  • Supports organisations across all sectors to deliver more effective social value policy, practice and outcomes
  • Uses the skills knowledge and experience of the group to influence the behaviour of the range of individuals and organisations with a stake in social value

The Greater Manchester Social Value Framework

Achieving positive change through social value should be part of all ‘business’, so we have broadened the scope of our ground-breaking 2014 GM Social Value Policy to create a framework that can be used across all sectors to guide actions and maximise impact for Greater Manchester and its citizens, and clustered this around the commitments made in our Greater Manchester Strategy (external website).

Building on the Greater Manchester Social Value Framework, we will develop an approach which can be aggregated at a GM level for capturing bid offers as contractual commitments, providing contract management performance data and common standards for reporting at the city-region scale. 

We will also explore options for developing a Greater Manchester ‘Brokerage’ platform that can provide a live environment for matching supplier offers with ‘system’ asks.

Building on Greater Manchester’s position at the vanguard of delivery on Social Value, this Framework seeks to use that foundation of best practice and learning to create a groundswell of collaborative action across the city region.

The Framework is built around the following three areas, and aims to guide and support the work of your organisation to create social, environmental and economic benefit in all your activities:

The Framework can be used in many different ways:

  • As a talking point in corporate or business planning…
  • As a checklist for the commissioning of services…
  • As a guide for the development of procurement strategies and social value policies…
  • For discussion in a team meeting….
  • As a framework for your social impact reporting….
  • And to take action….

If all businesses, community groups, social enterprises, voluntary and public sector organisations take at least one new action against one of these areas, together we can make a huge difference for Greater Manchester.

Social Value is increasingly a requirement for organisations bidding for public sector contracts and the procurement arrangements used across Greater Manchester will use this Framework as their guide.

Our aim

Our aim is that taking action on ‘social value’ becomes the right way to run an organisation in Greater Manchester – for private business, for voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises (VCSE) and also for the public sector. If you provide employment, it should be good employment; if you use resources – think about their sources and sustainability; if you buy goods and services – could they be from local suppliers?

Together, we can tackle the widening inequalities that we have seen post Covid-19, and build a greener, fairer, more prosperous economy in Greater Manchester.

Developed by a group of partners from VCSE, public and business organisations from across Greater Manchester, our Social Value Framework contains a set of specific and action-oriented priorities that can be used by any organisation.

Social Value Checklist

We have written a checklist to help you plan how you can maximise social value in your business, your community group, your organisation, and take part in making Greater Manchester a better place.

Greater Manchester Social Value Framework Taking Action Checklist (Word, 52KB)

This document is partially accessible. We have published it this way for users to download and adapt it to their needs.

Social Value Reporting Tool

We have also put together a simple template for developing a map of the social value that you create in your business, community group, or organisation.

Greater Manchester Social Value Framework Reporting Tool (Word, 63KB)

This document is partially accessible. We have published it this way for users to download and adapt it to their needs