YPO celebrates 50 years with landmark dividend

YPO celebrates 50 years with landmark dividend

Marking 50 years since its formation, YPO, one of the UK’s largest public buying sector organisations, is celebrating a golden milestone with a celebration event, a national tour of local authorities and a significant dividend for member councils.

YPO was formed in 1974, the same year that 12 of the organisation’s member local authorities were formed by the Local Government Act 1972. Over the last five decades, the Wakefield-based purchasing organisation has worked closely with its members and the wider public sector to deliver value and generate dividend returns.

In 2024, YPO is celebrating a total of £164m being given back to the public sector through member dividend payments since the formation of the organisation — an average of £3m a year.

To celebrate this, YPO welcomed elected councillors from its member authorities to mark the occasion at a members lunch. Attendees learnt about the organisation’s achievements across the past five decades and viewed a YPO cash register from 1974, showing handwritten ledgers from 50 years ago.

Simon Hill, Managing Director of YPO, said: “At our members lunch, I cited an excerpt from one of YPO’s early marketing leaflets which stated the ethos, ‘buying the right product, at the right price’. This purpose remains true today and runs through everything we do as an organisation. Being able to reflect on this with our members will only strengthen our ambition in demonstrating the value of our unique operating model for the good of the public sector.”

The members event was followed by a staff celebration day, with YPO joined by the NSPCC, YPO’s charity partner. The day saw Board members unveil a commemorative YPO50 plaque, bury a time capsule and wave off its YPO 50th Van Tour alongside hundreds of employees.

The 50th Van Tour will see YPO’s procurement experts travel to local authorities and public sector and education organisations across the country. The YPO Van Tour team will offer procurement advice and consultation through drop-in surgeries and pre-arranged visits over the coming months, reaffirming YPO’s commitment to being a helping hand to customers across the public sector.

Simon added: “For 50 years, YPO has worked collaboratively with suppliers to achieve the best value for our member authorities — both in terms of financial savings and social value. This continued effort shows the strength of our relationships and shared ambition of doing the right thing for our public services in the UK. As we mark our 50th year, I’m proud to celebrate with our employees and recognise the importance of the YPO family in delivering against our objectives as a public sector buying organisation.

“This year we’re celebrating with colleagues old and new, with some long serving staff members celebrating milestone work anniversaries of over 30 years. For me, this is a true testament to YPO’s success — our people and the commitment they have to making a positive difference for our organisation, our customers, our suppliers and those who may not realise our products and services are part of their everyday lives — the general public, is what makes our organisation stand the test of time.”

YPO is a publicly owned procurement company offering a range of 30,000 products and over 100 frameworks to public sector organisations, with customers ranging from schools to emergency services. It employs 500 staff at its Wakefield-based headquarters and warehouse.

Header image: YPO celebrating 50 years with its owning key member local authorities.

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