Procurement company 2buy2 has won a contract to last four years with the Department for Education to assist and support procurement within thousands of educational facilities across the north-west of England, it has been revealed.

The contract, with a potential value of up to £9m, has already resulted in the firm creating 18 new procurement jobs, as well as significantly expanding its current premises.

The Department for Education has initiated two pilot schemes which will take the form of regional school buying hubs. 2buy2 has successfully secured the contract to deliver services to the schools buying hub for the north-west region. The overall project intends to help schools save £1bn by 2020.

The two school buying hubs will offer procurement advice and guidance to schools in their region, as well as encouraging greater engagement in the procurement field. They will act as a consultancy service on aggregated procurement, complex procurement and other forms of purchasing.

The pilot scheme will involve 900 schools over 15 months and is expected to deliver projected savings of £3.2m. If this is successful, the contract will be extended and could ultimately cover 3,000 schools across the north-west of England. The benefits are expected to reach over one million pupils.

18 new procurement jobs will be created, with 14 based at 2buy2’s head office at the Sony Technology Centre in Bridgend. The firm will be increasing its office space at the centre by 40%.

“This is a fantastic contract for us that will facilitate our expansion and allow us to create a number of high quality jobs in the region,” said 2buy2 CEO Rob Kissick. “We are delighted to be participating in a scheme that could make such a big difference to the education system in the UK, freeing up money to plough into other educational resources.”