It goes without saying that if you are an engaged business and are seeking to grow your business in this area, sourcing public sector contracts is a good place to start. This blog has been designed to highlight some of the various ways and places that you can find public sector contracts – and by doing this, it is likely to grow your business.
Whether you are a small or large organisation, you can tender for public contracts through online portals. I will show you where to find public sector contracts in UK.
Where to find public sector contracts in UK
If you’re trying to find a public sector contract, you’ll probably need to use a different portal depending on where you are based or what you want to tender for.
There are seven regional procurement portals in England that list public sector tender opportunities and contracts:
- North East Procurement Organisation: www.nepo.org.
- YOR Tender (Yorkshire and Humber region): www.yortender.co.uk.
- Supplying the South West: www.supplyingthesouthwest.org.uk.
- South East Business Portal: https://sebp.due-north.com.
- The Chest (North West of England): www.the-chest.org.uk.
- East Mids Tenders: www.eastmidstenders.org.
- London Tenders Portal: www.londontenders.org.
Public Contracts Scotland is an online portal providing free information about contracts available in Scotland. Suppliers can register free of charge to receive free e-mail alerts, download notices and attachments or respond with an expression of interest. The website also provides details of events where potential suppliers can meet potential buyers and discuss their products and services.
Sell2Wales is a free service to find details of public sector contracts in Wales. Suppliers can be based anywhere in the UK and should register with their free profile. Suppliers can set up alerts for public sector tenders based on keywords, location, business sector, size of contract and date.
eTendersNI is a tendering website that lists current public sector contract opportunities in Northern Ireland. Suppliers must register on the website to respond to a tender. The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD, www.finance-ni.gov.uk/topics/procurement) provides further information about the tendering process in Northern Ireland.
eTendersNI is a website that lists current public sector contract opportunities in Northern Ireland. Suppliers must register on the website to respond to a tender. The Central Procurement Directorate provides further information about the tendering process.
Digital Marketplace helps businesses find technology or people for digital projects in the public sector.
Constructionline is a national online database of construction industry suppliers. Registered suppliers can access work leads and supply-chain opportunities.
NHS Supply Chain
The NHS Supply Chain provides information about opportunities to supply healthcare products and services, food, catering and more for NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across England and Wales. Its supplier pages provide information about the tendering and contract process and how to work with the NHS.
Information about tendering for NHS contracts in Scotland and Northern Ireland is provided by:
- NHS National Services Scotland
- HSCNI (Health and Social Care Northern Ireland) Business Services Organisation
Legal Aid Agency
The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) lists tender opportunities for legal aid contracts in crime, civil legal advice, and telephone advice. To view the documents for those opportunities, providers must register on the LAA’s eTendering portal.
Further Education Colleges e-tendering website (in-tend)
The Further Education Colleges e-tendering website (in-tend) lists contracts and tender opportunities with further education colleges. College suppliers can create an account and express interest in tender opportunities.
The Bluelight eTendering portal offers access to listings of contracts and tender opportunities for the police and fire and rescue services. Suppliers can search, respond to, and receive e-mail alerts about tender opportunities in their area.
UK Government Contracts
Contracts Finder allows suppliers to search for information about government and local authority contracts worth more than £10,000. You can sign up for free and receive email notifications about public sector opportunities.
Find a Tender
Find a Tender allows businesses to search for information about high-value contracts that are worth more than £118,000 in the UK’s public and utility sectors.
Crown Commercial Service
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is a UK Government agency with responsibility for public sector procurement policy and direct buying. It has information for businesses about upcoming tenders and tenders that have already been awarded.
Small Business Research Initiative
The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) allows small businesses to compete for funding to develop and innovative solutions to challenges set by specific public sector bodies. Winners receive an initial contract to demonstrate the feasibility of their idea. The SBRI gives organisations the opportunity to work with a public sector buyer, while retaining their intellectual property rights.
Local authority websites
You can check your local authority’s website for details of how you can tender for a contract to grow your business. Most local authorities advertise high-value contracts through websites such as Contracts Finder or regional procurement portals but often have smaller contracts that they put out to tender.
Most universities have procurement policies available to the public on their websites, sometimes with opportunities to tender or e-tendering portals. You can also see which consortiums they are members of and then go and see what contract opportunities they have listed.
Examples of consortia include:
- North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium: www.nwupc.ac.uk.
- North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium: www.neupc.ac.uk.
- London Universities Purchasing Consortium: www.lupc.ac.uk.
- Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium: www.supc.ac.uk.
There are a number of independent commercial services that collate public sector contract opportunities. Examples include the following:
- myTenders is the best place for suppliers to find public sector tenders. Suppliers can search and respond to tender notices free of charge, but are not able to set up e-mail alerts. Website users who wish to do so are directed to the premium subscription service, Tenders Direct.
- Tenders Direct provides subscribers with daily e-mail alerts about tender opportunities.
- Tracker provides a range of online services, including public and private sector tender alerts, market intelligence, public sector spend analysis and market leads. Subscription costs vary depending on the services and region covered (UK and Ireland, Europe or global).
- ProContract allows suppliers to search for public, private and third sector tender notices free of charge. Suppliers receive daily e-mail alerts of tender opportunities in a particular sector or geographical area.