Local businesses have won deals worth more than £8 million since the launch of an online initiative by Surrey County Council last year.

The BuildSurrey site, which was unveiled by the county council a year ago, was part of the council’s pledge to ensure 60% of its spending on goods and services was with local businesses. The council announced last week that more than 700 firms had already registered on the BuildSurrey site.

The scheme works by enabling companies to pitch for construction and repair work that the county council, its main contractors and other public sector organisations, need doing.

Surrey County Council’s deputy leader Peter Martin said: “BuildSurrey is about helping our local businesses, and therefore our local economy, to thrive.”

He said: “In one year of operation, the site has clearly done that, and I have no doubt it will go from strength to strength.”

The site gives smaller construction companies an opportunity to win contracts of all sizes.

In an effort to encourage more local businesses to get involved, the county council will hold an advice session at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom, on Tuesday, March 18, from 8am to 10am and from 3pm to 7pm. The event will include talks from business members already involved in the scheme and opportunities to network with larger contractors.

Information about Surrey County Council’s plans to help local businesses source apprentices and training will also be given.

Contractors and subcontractors, suppliers and manufacturers, architects, consultants, clients and developers, and housing associations are being encouraged to attend the free event.

For more information and an online booking form, visit the BuildSurrey website at: www.buildsurrey.net