New to tendering and not sure where to start?

Thornton & Lowe

Local government spends over £45billion on common goods and services each year. With a strong focus on making the process more accessible for SMEs, there has never been a better time to be bidding for local authority and central government tenders.

What kind of products and services does local government buy?

Local government is responsible for purchasing across a huge variety of areas, including Education, Recycling, Roads, Transportation, Housing, Environmental and Healthcare. As such, they purchase everything from toiletries to transportation services.

What is important to local government?


·         Maximising value for money

·         Having access to a large range of suppliers

·         Engaging with SMEs

·         Improving the local economy and creating employment opportunities

·         Seeking sustainable supply and accurate contract life-cycle costings


What does local government look for in suppliers?


·         A reliable partner they can work with effectively

·         An evidenced track record, whether in the public or private sector

·         Investment in the local community

·         Innovation in services, product range and engagement

·         A company who can help them achieve objectives efficiently

·         Value


Charles Grosstephan, Bid Training & Consultancy Manager, who recently met with the Crown Commercial Service to discuss the tendering process said, “The Government’s drive to engage with SMEs provides incredible growth opportunities for businesses. Whatever your product or service, there is a real and achievable opportunity for companies, regardless of size.

So, what advice can we give to help you to successfully bid for local government tenders?”

  • Identify suitable opportunities – finding the right opportunities for your organisation is crucial. Tenders valued above £10,000 are listed on Contracts Finder
  • Develop a robust bid/no bid process – it’s easy to see a bid and think “let’s go for it”. The most common reason for lack of success is poor choice of tender opportunity. Be patient and wait for the tender opportunity that is right for your business
  • Get tender ready - develop a suite of tender ready documents and common information, this is often known as a tender library. This includes policies, accreditations, CVs and documented processes
  • Don’t give up - you may not win your first bid but dedicating the time to bidding for more contracts and getting to know buyers, will set you on the path to success
  • Improve your understanding of the bidding process with bid/tender training – To help you with this, Thornton & Lowe have developed an Introduction to Bidding training workshop to improve your understanding of the procurement process

SMEs and micro businesses, alike, are reporting tender success

A recent Adaptions and Renovations Contractor client with no prior experience, has reported success at both the PQQ and ITT stages for a North West England local authority tender.

Using our expertise, our team of in-house bid writers provided support to the client, creating initial gap analysis, sourcing high quality evidence, supporting documents and undertaking internal QA to help our client win the tender outright.

For bidding support, advice and further information on Thornton & Lowe’s training workshops, contact us on 01204 238 046 or email the team at