In July 2014 Newport City Council and Norse (a public services company wholly owned by Norfolk County Council) entered into a 10 year Joint Venture Agreement, creating "Newport Norse" to transform service delivery and provide an improved managed property and facilities service for the Council. The business is a total facilities management service, which provides for a range of services from capital construction projects, to reactive maintenance, building cleaning, asset management, surveying, valuation, and catering. As an independent company Newport Norse can work for any client and create income streams from areas with the total facilities management client community in South Wales and the wider locality.
Newport Norse is unique and cutting edge, being the first wholly publically owned Local Authority Property Services Joint Venture in Wales. It is an innovative, public sector designed, and public sector run service delivery model. It utilises the Teckal exemption under EU Procurement rules to build a new approach to local authority service delivery. It is a solution that allows public bodies to formally collaborate, and provides an alternative to a traditionally outsourced private sector delivered market offering. It brings into play in Wales a repeatable model, already in place in other Local Authorities across the United Kingdom. It overlays best practise, efficiency, streamlined management and a commercial culture to create long term efficiencies, beyond the balance sheet for Local Authorities. All profits made are recycled back into the public sector. Newport Norse provides the “intelligent client” function for the Newport City Council and other clients as well as professional services related to the project delivery such as architecture, quantity surveying and engineering. All profits are recycled back into the public sector and locally 50% of profits are fed back into Newport City Council. We also have the flexibility to work with the Council at a strategic level to create better value and are involved from cradle to grave with the respect to the delivery of construction projects.
Newport City Council has spearheaded this ground-breaking and cutting edge approach in Wales, as an alterative to service cuts. In 2013/2014, the Council decided after much analysis and internal debate, to seek an approach to reduce the costs of its already lean Property and Asset Management service. This included both front line maintenance and repair services, as well estates and property professional services. It also recognised that it needed to retain an service offering to manage its current estate, its construction programme, and deliver upon its regeneration aspirations for a fast growing City. In its analysis it discounted an outsourced solution to the private sector as being too high risk. Instead it opted to speak to the Norfolk County Council owned Norse Group to explore an alternative. This alternative, has since its inception, delivered circa £980k in profits rebated back to the Council.