A Message from Marc

Welcome to our annual report. It's time to try and conclude on 23/24
- a year full of change and challenge.

Over the last 12 months, we’ve helped our customers with another 197 contract awards whilst supporting 900+ delegates with technical training.  It’s been a pleasure to help you all – that’s why we’re here.  Our focus is to make tendering easy, give you options around public procurement and save you time and money.  We sprinkle a great deal of customer care on top and believe that’s what makes us stand out from others.

The sheer volume of change in the space that public procurement meets social housing and construction over the last year has been huge.  At our Annual Conferences over the last few years, we’ve talked about the perfect storm – that’s certainly no better, is it?  Public procurement sees the greatest change in a generation – we’ll see new regulations to replace the public contract regs 2015.  We’re so focused on making sure you’re ready for this change that it’s one of our key strategic objectives.  Our suite of tender documents, processes and offer will all be updated for you. Construction continues to be volatile with some household firms struggling to survive and then there is housing.

Social housing has seen the launch of a new consumer standard, Awaab’s law and a desire to reinvest and decarbonise assets.  There is just too much to list here – but combined the volume is something we’ve been getting used to.

I’m proud of my team and their efforts – they’ve delivered great results on behalf of members.  An outcome of this work and results is that our own business has become more resilient than ever.  Next year we’ll see SEC become a Company Limited by Guarantee – and no longer need an accountable body.  As a Board – this enables us some exciting opportunities.  We’ll look deliver more training support, more tailor made tenders and have a clearer social purpose.

As a social housing focused central purchasing body – we’ll be here to support you over the next year … and beyond.

Neil Diddams

Chair, SEC Board

Your Questions Answered – Q&A with our Chair

We caught up with Neil, our Chair, as we look back on last year, and how our Board have adapted to changes in the sector. As well  as Chair of our Board, Neil is also the Executive Director of Property and Asset Management at West Kent Housing Association. 

What are your reflections on 2023-24?

The past year has been a remarkable journey for the South East Consortium. One of the highlights was the heartfelt return of Marc at our annual conference, a moment that resonated with many attendees. The conference, once again, proved to be a resounding success, and I extend my sincere gratitude to all who contributed – attendees, exhibitors, and the dedicated individuals working behind the scenes.

In the ever-challenging landscape of the Housing Sector, we’ve navigated through significant hurdles, yet emerged stronger. Our focus on advancing our mission towards incorporation while maintaining our commitment to delivering exceptional services and support for communities has been delivered. We have seen the growth and collaboration among our member organisations that has played a pivotal role in achieving our collective objectives.

I take immense pride in the support we extend to our members, contractors, and stakeholders. Our expertise has been recognised through our contributions to the NHF’s better homes review and our involvement in the government’s procurement reform. We are dedicated to ensuring that our members and those within our frameworks understand and adapt to these changes seamlessly. Throughout it all, our dedication to delivering excellence in social housing remains steadfast. Together, we continue to strive towards enhancing the sector and leading on public procurement.

What do you think was the biggest challenge facing the housing sector this year? And, what has the SEC Board been doing to help?

I believe the challenges we’ve faced this year in the housing sector are diverse and complex, encompassing a range of issues. From the ongoing impact of Covid to concerns over fire safety, damp, mould, consumer regulations, and procurement reform, our sector has been navigating through a multitude of challenges. However, amidst these difficulties, it’s crucial to remain grounded in our purpose: providing safe, secure homes to those most in need.

As a Board, our focus has been on ensuring that SEC’s strategies remain aligned with our core objectives, supporting our members, and offering flexible, cost-effective solutions. Our priority is to maintain the delivery of essential services to our residents, with a particular emphasis on improving the quality of homes, enhancing energy efficiency, and addressing damp and mould issues. Additionally, we’re committed to representing the voice of the sector, both regionally and nationally. Through initiatives such as supporting government policies, providing high-quality training, contributing to the SEC Foundation, and collaborating with the NHF, we aim to make a meaningful impact.

Furthermore, as we transition to incorporation, we’ve welcomed new talented individuals to the Board, enriching our team and enhancing our capabilities. This infusion of fresh perspectives will complement the great work already underway, ensuring that SEC continues to thrive in its mission.

As you look forward to the year ahead, how is the Board adapting in light of incorporation?

Looking ahead to the year ahead, the incorporation of the South East Consortium presents both opportunities and challenges. As we transition to a new structure, the Board is focused on ensuring a smooth and seamless process, while also enhancing our governance, accountability, and transparency. We’re actively navigating the complexities of incorporation and making sure we optimise our operations. Additionally, we’re prioritising communication and collaboration with our members to ensure their needs and concerns are addressed. By embracing change and leveraging the strengths of our consortium, we’re confident in our ability to adapt and thrive in the evolving landscape of the housing sector. We are all excited to see where we can take this journey now.

The highlights – creating value for customers, contractors and communities. 

We’re pleased to reflect on another 12 months of supporting our members and our wider network – the year has absolutely flown by. We’ve delivered more procurements than ever before – and invested back into the sector we love through our PROSPECTS and FOUNDATION programmes.

Contracts Procured
Savings in Procurement Costs
Total Contract Value
New Frameworks Procured
Colleagues Trained
Events Held
Funding to Charities
Charities Supported

Understanding our Financial Performance

We work closely with Southern Housing (our Accountable Body) to monitor our finances. They work with our Senior Leadership and Finance teams to track levy income against budget – as well as any KPIs linked to our income and operating margin.

23/24 has been another positive year of growth for SEC.  Despite the backdrop of challenges across the housing sector and in construction, and our own desire to reinvest in our business making it fit for the future – we’ve achieved our levy income forecast. Growth in this area makes us attractive to suppliers and helps to secure buying power on our customers behalf.  Costs generally increased whilst we worked through the final stages of our incorporation project – this impacted on our projected surplus. On balance, Members can be assured by our financial strength and continued appetite to offer the best support possible.

Click the link below to view a summary of our financial statement for 2023/24.

View our Finance Summary for 2023 - 2024

Looking Ahead – our commitments for next year

On 1 July 2024 we’ll become a Company Limited by Guarantee – and no longer need an accountable body. We’ll still be owned by our Members. And, will remain a central purchasing body dedicated to supporting social housing providers. Incorporation provides us with some exciting opportunities. We’ll have a clearer social purpose, and will deliver more training and tailor-made tenders for our customers. Here’s a snapshot of our top five commitments for 2024/25.

Like to learn more about why we’re incorporating? Read our blog for customers and suppliers.  

We’ll always keep you compliant by embedding the new procurement regime into our practices.


We’ll innovate and use technology to improve your customer experience. 


We’ll invest in our technical function  – and offer you more support pre- and post-procurement.


We’ll expand our training offer and deliver sector-leading courses to our supply chain.