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Ardal strengthens its team with new senior appointment

Gemma Ellis

A new innovative procurement service launched by Cardiff Council, Ardal, has strengthened its team with the appointment of Gemma Ellis as Senior Category Manager, who will oversee its collaborative procurement partnership with Monmouthshire County Council, Torfaen County Borough Council, and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Ardal was formed to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving procurement landscape and to provide solutions in line with Welsh Government legislation, including the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act 2023. Gemma will oversee all category teams, approximately 25-30 people, including those engaged on the well-established South East Wales regional collaborative frameworks, SEWSCAP (buildings construction framework), which completed a landmark £1bn worth of projects with the opening of Bridgend College’s STEAM Academy, SEWH (highways framework) and SEWTAPS (technical and professional services framework).

Commenting on her appointment Gemma says: “I am delighted to have joined Ardal as there are big changes happening within the world of procurement right now. With the new legislation introduced by Welsh Government there are numerous regulations that need to be met and guidance provided. Ardal has been created to harness the skills, knowledge and expertise across all Ardal Councils, and other partners, to develop exemplar solutions of what can be achieved through collaborative, agile procurement and to be a part of that is very exciting.

“For me, this is a new challenge and natural progression for my career, with bigger projects, budgets, and greater collaboration. I’m looking forward to continuing the great work and results already achieved within Ardal.”

Gemma has joined Ardal from Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council where she worked across sectors including construction, waste, social care, human resources, food, legal, education, and utilities. She delivered complex and important projects for the region including, the £40m Taff Vale Development, a £12m Dry Material Waste Recycling Plant, the 21st Century Schools Programme, and a £100m ExtraCare development programme.

Gemma will now play a crucial role in Ardal’s vision for procurement to help tackle inequality, protect our environment, and adapt to a world being reshaped by climate change. She will lead on work designed to build better communities through socially responsible procurement, and help manage partnerships with charities and community partners that delivers tangible, positive change.

She adds: “I’m particularly keen to support Ardal make a key contribution to helping reduce carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2030, and ensure procurement spend is more accessible to small, local businesses and the third sector.”