Win new business and supply government in the UK

Cabinet Office's Small Business Crown Representative, Martin Traynor OBE, recently returned to speak directly with Made in Britain members. Made in Britain works closely with the UK government, and specifically the Cabinet Office, to support UK manufacturing companies to win new business and supply government and the wider public sector in the UK.

Made in Britain draws on the meeting with Martin to provide the following guide for UK manufacturing companies:

Major Buyer

The UK public sector is a major buyer - it purchases around £300bn of goods and services every year.  This is roughly 12% of the UK's GDP.  'Public sector' is defined as including: central government (eg. Department for Transport or Home Office); housing associations and some universities; NHS bodies; police forces, fire and rescue services; central government agencies (eg. Sport England and Environment Agency); and, local councils.  

Core Procurement Portals

If your company wants to supply any of these entities, you can find live opportunities, as well as ‘pipeline' (future) opportunities and details of awarded contracts, by:

> Going to Contracts Finder (for contracts of £10k to £138k) here

> For higher value contracts (more than £138k), going to Find a Tender here  

Please note the above referred values are not exact, and vary according to the purchasing entity.

Devolved Administrations

Be aware, however, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (the ‘Devolved Administrations’) have their own dedicated public sector procurement websites. These are:

> Public Contracts Scotland for opportunities with public sector bodies in Scotland

> Sell2Wales for opportunities with public sector bodies in Wales

> eSourcing NI and eTenders NI for opportunities with public sector bodies in Northern Ireland:
- eSourcing NI
- eTenders NI

While the vast majority of tenders (by value) are shared on the above sites, if you are interested to know more about a specific government Department (for example specific priorities and policies, or wider commercial relationships*), you can find this relatively easy via a search online.  For example, the three biggest spending Departments:

1. Department for Health and Social Care procurement (£190bn in 2021-22)

2. Ministry for Education procurement (£76bn in 2021-22) 

3. Ministry for Defence procurement (£46bn in 2021-22)

You can see out how much each Department spent in 2021-22 here

*Made in Britain also works directly with a number of these, such as:

> NHS Supply Chain (contracted by the Department for Health and Social Care)

> Leidos (contracted by the Ministry of Defence)

Lower Values

If your company wants to look further still, including at lower values (ie. beneath £10k for central government, or beneath £25k for wider public sector opportunities), you should also search online for the entities you are interested in.  For example:

> Birmingham Council procurement

> Manchester Council procurement 

> Transport for London procurement

Procurement Reform

There are major changes coming to how UK public sector procures goods and services.  These are currently working their way through Parliament and expected to be implemented next year.

This reform is considered as ‘once in a life time’ and aims to: create a simpler and more flexible, commercial system; open up public procurement to new entrants such as small businesses; and, embed transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle so that the spending of taxpayers’ money can be properly scrutinised.

Made in Britain will work with Cabinet Office to communicate more on this as the changes come in to force.  But if you are interested, you can read more here in the meantime.

Final Thought

There is a lot of information and links available.  Contracts Finder will however be most relevant to most UK manufacturers.  So, if you take just one action now to win new business and supply government and the wider public sector in the UK, bookmark Contracts Finder and check it regularly.

Contact Made In Britain

If you are a Made in Britain member that has experience of supplying the UK public sector, Made in Britain would love to hear about it.  Please make contact with us via email:

The session with the Cabinet Office formed part of Made in Britain's programme of activity on UK government-related procurement. Made in Britain's engagement with the Cabinet Office was facilitated by George Middleton, Principal Consultant at MAP and Advisor to Made in Britain on government and international trade.

If you would like to make contact with George Middleton, or be connected with Martin Traynor OBE, Small Business Crown Representative, Cabinet Office - please email:

By Made in Britain 1 year ago | Government & Supply Chains

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