Public contracts are a great way of achieving growth for a business. If you want to win more public work, then writing great tenders is key. But just as important is knowing where to find requests for tenders! That is where tender portals, or tenders sites, come in.
Public sector buyers (government, state agencies, local councils etc.) all have to follow public procurement rules about how they buy goods and services. These rules include how and where they advertise large contracts. We have listed here all the main tender portals used in Ireland and the UK.
Tender Portals in Ireland
Ireland is easy. The Office of Government Procurement has provided a one-stop tenders site for finding all public sector tenders in the Republic of Ireland: eTenders.
Local authorities can also use SupplyGov to to run some construction and plant hire contracts, but most of these are advertised on eTenders.
Tender Portals in the UK
Its a little more complicated in the UK because there are far more tender portals used in public procurement.
Northern Ireland has two main tender portals:
- eTendersNI is the main tender portal for Northern Ireland.
- eSourcingNI is another tender portal for the NI public sector, and it is popular with many of the local authorities.
Scotland and Wales
All central and local government tenders in Scotland are on Public Contracts Scotland.
You can find all central and local government tenders in Wales at Sell 2 Wales.
The main tenders website for public sector tenders in England is Contracts Finder. It contains central government contracts over £10,000 in value.
You can also find tenders linked to capital and infrastructure projects on CompeteFor.
English local authorities
English local authorities come together to buys goods and services. The biggest portals are:
- Supplying the South West
- South East Business Portal
- Chest (North West)
- North East Procurement Organisation portal (NEPO)
- YOR tender portal (Yorkshire and Humber)
- East Mids Tenders
- London Tenders Portal
Smaller ones include:
- Find it in the Black Country
- Find it in Birmingham (West Midlands)
- LGSS (Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes)
- Suffolk Sourcing
- Supply Hertfordshire
- Procurement Agency for Essex
- Kent Business Portal
English universities and colleges
Many English universities and colleges come together for procurement. These university portals include:
- London Universities Purchasing Consortium
- North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium
- North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium
- Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium
UK-wide (sector specific)
There’s quite a few tender portals for specific types of contracts. So many of the organisations listed above also use the tender portals in this section.
- Central government tender requests can also be found on Crown Commercial Service.
- Funding for innovation and buyers seeking solutions to specific issues are on Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).
- Digital and cloud based services are advertised on the the Digital Marketplace.
- Owned by 13 local authorities, YPO seeks tenders to supply products and services to lots of bodies. Buyers include schools, local authorities, charities, emergency services, public sector and other bodies such as nurseries and care homes.
- UK-wide tenders for the education sector are also on Crescent Purchasing Consortium.
- Police, fire and rescue services in England and Wales use Bluelight.
- The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has its own portal: DEFRA eSourcing portal.
- So too has the UK Foreign Office: Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
- The UK Home Office also has its own portal: Home Office.
- Tenders for defence spending are found on Ministry of Defence – Defence Contracts Online.
The UK National Health Service (NHS) has its own tender portal called the NHS Supply Chain Procurement Portal.
Other NHS portals include:
- NHS LPP (London Procurement Partnership)
- Supply2NHS (regional NHS Trusts)
- East of England Collaborative NHS Procurement Hub
- South of England Procurement Services
- NHS Shared Business Services
- NHS National Procurement for Scotland
TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) is the online site for the Official Journal of the EU. All public sector contracts in the EU over a certain value must also be posted on TED.
Contracts not on the tender portals
Below certain spending limits, the tender process may be unwieldy and too bureaucratic. As a result, many public bodies have their own lists of suppliers for small contracts. Furthermore, they must review these regularly to include new suppliers and check that current suppliers still provide value for money. Therefore we recommend that SMEs and small businesses draw up their own lists of those they want to sell to, and then contact each directly about how to become an approved supplier (ask to speak to a member of their procurement team).
More ‘Top Tips’ on tendering
We have lots of great advice on how to win more tenders. So check out our Bid Management services to see how we can help with tender and bids. You can also search for ‘Bid Management‘ articles on our blog. We are also proud to be a part of the team that delivers InterTradeIreland’s award-winning Go-2-Tender training to SMEs across Ireland, and you find out more here.