Businesses urged to grasp £75m worth of new contracts from the United States Air Force

Millions of pounds worth of contracts are up for grabs at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath. Picture

Millions of pounds worth of contracts are up for grabs at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A council leader is urging the region’s businesses to grasp millions of pounds worth of contract opportunities from the United States Air Force (USAF).

Millions of pounds worth of contracts are up for grabs at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. Picture

Millions of pounds worth of contracts are up for grabs at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, says there is a “great opportunity” for local businesses to be awarded some major new contracts on their doorstep.

The 48th Contracting Squadron at RAF Lakenheath manages a £145million portfolio of routine contracts and up to £75m are available for the short, medium and long term.

Most of these contracts are for work at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall although there are also opportunities for services including grounds maintenance, cleaning, and refuse collection at 12 RAF locations across the country.

Mr Waters said: “There is a great opportunity here for our local businesses to grasp some major new contracts right on their doorstep.

“Whether you are a tradesperson, caterer, cleaning firm, equipment supplier, whether you work in grounds maintenance, laundry services, service facilities or some other line of work, don’t let this chance go begging.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber, said: “We enjoy an excellent long-term working relationship with the 48th Contracting Squadron at RAF Lakenheath and know of a number of our members who are currently delivering contracts at the airbase.

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“Given that improving procurement opportunities is one of Suffolk Chamber’s manifesto aims, we would urge as many local businesses as possible to contact the airbase to find out more information both about the process and the specific opportunities available.”

Lt Col Adam Coyne, commander of the 48th Contracting Squadron, said: “We have a strong relationship with both the council and the chamber of commerce and we are very much looking forward to working with more of our local businesses over the months and years ahead.”

Businesses or trades people interested in finding out more about the contracts that are available can email 48cons.pkp.vendors@us.af.mil

Interested businesses can also keep up-to-date with contract opportunities by following the Squadron’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/48CONSBizOppsUK

While the contracting squadron are specifically managing contracts for the routine work at the bases, further opportunities will be available as part of the wider work around the expansion programme at RAF Lakenheath.

The United States government has already said that it is looking to invest more than $1billion in the expansion and wants to employ local tradespeople to carry out the various elements of the construction work that will be required.