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Hull digital partnership adds social value to projects worth ‘billions of pounds’

Steve Baker (left) and Sam Burton.

A digital double act between Hull-based businesses The 55 Group and 43 Clicks North is working to simplify procurement around built environment projects worth billions of pounds.

The partnership is also delivering impressive returns in social value and is geared to driving the development of digital skills in the partners’ home city and helping other employers use technology to flex their marketing muscles.

The 55 Group operates frameworks through its Pagabo brand to match public and private sector clients with suppliers for built environment projects ranging from demolition through to major works and civils and infrastructure.

Contract values start from around £50,000 and rise to £50m or more and, with its nationwide reach, Pagabo has pulled in completed projects worth a total of more than £4bn.

Pagabo’s sister brand, Loop, uses software to forecast, monitor and evaluate the entire life cycle of any project and has enabled a social value return from projects in excess of £26bn.

Other brands in the group, which employs 88 people, include risk management and compliance software company Sypro and digital-first training platform Tequ.

Sam Burton, head of commercial marketing at The 55 Group, said: “Our mission is to utilise technology and innovative thinking to support a better, faster, and greener approach within our core markets. Our platforms support an ecosystem that allows the world to evaluate, procure, manage and learn in a more sustainable way.”

Burton added that his company had experimented with digital marketing in the past, but felt that 43 Clicks North could offer something new: “It’s not that we started from nothing but they have kicked on even further in terms of enquiries through our digital channels. We could have carried on as we were and we would have been fine, but we made a business decision to improve and this has been a step change.

“We challenged 43 Clicks North to see what they could do and they have risen to the challenge, including working with our team to help us develop our knowledge.”

The value of Pagabo projects currently in procurement is nearly £500m and includes a £90m academy services framework launched in July and a £1bn refit and refurbishment framework which went live in May.

Using Loop, all Pagabo projects are able to run simple social value reports free of charge. Measurements include more than £162m in new jobs and work placements, and more than £43m in apprenticeships and safeguarded jobs.

Steve Baker, performance marketing director at 43 Clicks North, said the products being marketed may be different but the approach is much the same for a company which also helps clients in sectors from top level sport to multi-million pound international sales of excavator buckets.

Baker said: “The processes are very similar and it’s all about understanding the nuances of the individual business to help them generate leads and turn those enquiries into customers. We started running our service in February and after six months the indications are very positive. We are already exceeding the numbers that the business was generating in 2022.

“But what is also important for us is the chance to work with another business that’s based in Hull, supporting our mission statement of putting Hull on the map in the digital world. We are helping another local company develop its knowledge of digital marketing and how it can assist them in reaching their goals and objectives.”

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