The UK Government’s introduction of the Cabinet Office Social Value Model in 2021 marked a significant shift in public sector procurement.

Building on the Social Value Act 2012, this model requires suppliers to demonstrate how their work will contribute to broader social, economic, and environmental goals.

This approach focuses on tackling economic inequality, combating climate change, and promoting equal opportunity, fundamentally changing how government contracts are awarded.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has fully embraced these principles, embedding social value into its procurement processes. Now, defence suppliers are evaluated not only on traditional metrics such as quality, time, and cost, but also on the additional benefits their projects bring to communities and the environment.

This approach encourages suppliers to deliver wider public value, aligning with the Government’s policy to prioritise British suppliers and integrate social value into every aspect of procurement.

Social Value in Action: HMS Ambuscade Repatriation

An exemplary initiative that embodies these principles is the Clyde Naval Heritage’s project to repatriate HMS Ambuscade, currently known as PNS Tariq, from Pakistan to the River Clyde. This project offers a unique opportunity for defence firms in Scotland to demonstrate their commitment to social value, aligning with the MOD’s procurement criteria.

The proposed museum.

The repatriation of HMS Ambuscade will have a significant economic impact on the local community. The transformation of the decommissioned vessel into a floating museum will create jobs and stimulate tourism in the River Clyde area. This directly addresses the MOD’s objective of tackling economic inequality by fostering local economic growth and providing new employment opportunities.

The project also emphasises sustainability. Repurposing the ship as a museum rather than scrapping it reduces waste and embodies sustainable practices. Additionally, the museum’s operational strategies will focus on minimising environmental impact, aligning with the MOD’s Net Zero by 2050 initiatives. Defence firms supporting this project can showcase their commitment to environmental responsibility, enhancing their reputation and fulfilling the MOD’s sustainability criteria.

Community Engagement

Supporting the HMS Ambuscade project demonstrates a tangible commitment to the local community. This project honours the rich shipbuilding heritage of the Clyde and pays tribute to those who served during the Falklands Conflict. By engaging with this initiative, defence firms can foster goodwill and strengthen their corporate reputation. This commitment to community engagement and heritage preservation resonates with the MOD’s focus on social value, enhancing the appeal of bids for government contracts.

In their own words:

“The Clyde Naval Heritage project is an exciting initiative that aims to preserve the rich shipbuilding history of the River Clyde for future generations. Many commercial and naval warships have been built in the River Clyde Shipyards for both the Royal Navy and many countries around the world, not to mention some of the world’s most iconic transatlantic liners such as the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth & QE2.  Most of the shipyards are gone and little remains of that heritage. 

Our project aims to address this by creating a Heritage Museum site focused on telling the story of the people and ships they built.

Visitors will embark on a journey through 250 years of naval and commercial shipbuilding history.  Central to  this story will be an Amazon class frigate type, HMS Ambuscade/PNS Tariq, donated to our charity by The Pakistan Government. This ship’s journey will be revealed through the eyes of the people who built her and served upon her both in the UK and in Pakistan. The Clyde Naval Heritage Village will expand upon this history through the Clyde Naval and Commercial Shipbuilding Collection, The Falklands Conflict and The Type 21 Fleet. Each collection will offer an insight into life as a shipyard worker and in the service.”

Businesses that sponsor the HMS Ambuscade’s return will enjoy unprecedented visibility. Their names will be associated with an international journey of historical significance, gaining exposure and prestige. Moreover, the repatriation journey provides a unique platform for hosting events, offering memorable experiences for clients and stakeholders.

Voices of Support

Prominent figures have voiced their support for the HMS Ambuscade project. Admiral Lord Alan West, former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, emphasises the foundational significance of this project, urging support from naval and shipbuilding heritage enthusiasts.

By sponsoring the HMS Ambuscade’s return, defence firms can not only honour the rich shipbuilding heritage of the Clyde but also position themselves as leaders in generating social value. This strategic alignment with government objectives can enhance their bids for MOD contracts, ensuring that their contributions are recognised and rewarded.

For more information on how to contribute, visit Clyde Naval Heritage or contact the communications team via email at [email protected]. Together, we can sail towards a future where history, heritage, and social value are intertwined for the greater good.

Avatar photo
George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Craig (@guest_819012)
5 days ago

Good news, surprised this is only being done now.
Benefits to wider society and the economy should be considered as well as cost and quality.
For impact on climate change, only by introducing policy across the every facet of government decision making will we achieve our commitments here

Urkiddin (@guest_819041)
5 days ago

Served on the Ambuscade twice, 1982 though 88. Great ship, awesome ships company. Something about being part of the ’21 club’ made you want to serve on 21’s for the whole of your career, many did.

Bringing the ship back to the UK is a noble idea, I hope it works out. Sadly the track record of saving ships is not good. The Plymouth comes to mind. Another popular class with the crews. Had the honour of serving on the Rhyl too. It will be a great reason to visit my place of birth again

Gunbuster (@guest_819064)
5 days ago
Reply to  Urkiddin

It looks nowt like it did when in RN service.
4.5 is the same but its a completely different sensor fit now.

DB (@guest_819095)
5 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Perhaps sensory deprivation is a good thing when near Glasgow?

There last year and the City has really changed, great vibe and literally buzzing, to be honest.

As to procurement, this just adds another layer of bureaucracy and the matrix on VfM just got more complicated, I really don’t agree with it.

Urkiddin (@guest_819111)
5 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yup, seen that on the Ambuscade website. Wonder if they have an old Seacat ‘Torpedo’ launcher 😜 laying around and maybe a 992 ae. Obviously other stuff too. One can dream I guess 🤔

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_819124)
5 days ago
Reply to  Urkiddin

And will it have it’s helo, a Sea Lynx?

Last edited 5 days ago by Quentin D63
Joe16 (@guest_819121)
5 days ago

I’d not heard of this Social Value thing until now, but I like the principle of it at least- not sure how it is applied in practice. Ultimately, though, unless the evaluation of the employment benefits to the UK public and tax revenue to HM Treasury are taken into account within this process, then it doesn’t go far enough. HM Treasury are still going to look unfavourably on UK-sourced projects because they’re responsible for the bottom line, so until these things can modify said figure, then they’re not carrying the weight they need to. I like the museum idea too,… Read more »

Urkiddin (@guest_819159)
5 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Plus Amber’s was down South, so at least we would have that bit of history too