The complete list of free tender websites for construction contracts
The tendering process in construction involves the proposal made by a construction company in response to an invitation to tender (ITT) for the completion of a project issued by a public sector entity. Construction tender documents typically contain cost estimates, procurement and cost management procedures, prior experience and references of the contractor, to only name a few.
Submitting a tender begins with inspecting the set of construction drawings and specifications in order to generate a material quantity takeoff. For the UK market, the most suitable takeoff software is Estimation MEP because it integrates with LUCKINS, UK’s largest library of HVAC, electrical and plumbing material content featuring more than 500,000+ items. This means all your estimates will contain accurately priced items for your procurement lists and quotes.
But how exactly do you find the best places to bid for government tenders in the UK? There are hundreds of tendering websites and portals dedicated to the UK market. If you were to regularly review all of them, you would end up not having any time left to actually work on and submit your tender documents. That’s why it is important to find the best bidding websites that offer suitable tendering opportunities for your business.
The more specific you are when choosing your construction leads, the better your chances are of securing successful and profitable contracts. So have a look at the most comprehensive guide for best tender websites that our team put together:
Free Tender Websites UK
With more than 700 public sector organisations publishing both low and high value tenders, mytenders is one of the best construction bid sites for suppliers interested in working with the public sector. The information is compiled by scanning the OJEU and other sources.
OpenOpps is one of the best free construction tenders websites. The platform provides access to over 100,000 live business opportunities and features advanced search and filtering capabilities. You can also subscribe to receive daily email alerts. OpenOpps is surely a place where you can find suitable construction jobs to bid for.
The Construction Index is an online publication providing construction news, company listings, but also contract leads and construction tenders. You can browse the full list of UK tenders and search by keyword, location as well as sort the procurement notices by type or business sector.
Global Tenders is an international resource, but with a hefty UK database on tenders. The information is classified by date, country, CPV, sectors and keywords.
First and foremost a tender consultancy company, Tenders UK also provides a list of available business opportunities on their website.
The company offers consultancy services, amongst which, one called “Critical Friend”. Should you choose to request this service, you will be paired with an experienced coach who will assist you in researching the ITT to define a winning strategy, offer guidance on how to respond to each question in the tender and help you evaluate your tender from the buyer’s perspective.
While featuring results from more than 150 countries, Tender Tiger remains focused on the United Kingdom. Thousands of buyers advertise tenders exclusively on Tender Tiger. Through this platform, you gain access to tender documents, corrigendum, form JV/consortium and more.
Bidstats combines two construction bid sources: UK Government’s Contracts Finder and OJEU
(Official Journal of the European Union). The advantage is that you have the data in one place and can more easily access it.
UK Government Tender Websites
The main platform where the government makes all UK public sector procurement opportunities available is Contracts Finder. All opportunities above the threshold of £10,000 for central government bodies and £25,000 for wider public sector bodies are required to be published here.
On the Government’s Contracts Finder you can search for contracts that are currently open to tender, pipelines of potential procurement activity or early opportunity notices (if you wish to review future procurement needs).
The e-tendering portal provided by The Houses of Parliament is called 'In-Tend'. Use this resource if you wish to search for projects coordinated by The Parliament. You don’t need to be an approved supplier to use this portal and all size suppliers will be considered when awarding the project.
On this platform, general contractors and HVAC contractors will find all Irish public sector procurement opportunities currently advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU tenders), but also lower-value contracts. You can sort by Tender Notices, Prior Indicative Notices (PIN) and Contract Award Notices (CAN).
On TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) you can not only find all EU tenders opportunities, but also construction sales leads from the European Economic Area and beyond. What is great about TED is that you can sign up to receive email alerts based on your filters, such as project types. It is essentially the online version of the “Supplement to the Official Journal” of the EU. Around 2,400 public procurement notices are published on TED daily.
On the Public Contracts Scotland tender portal you will find OJEU notices issued by Scottish public bodies but also lower-value notices, and contract awards. Main contractors on public sector contracts may also advertise sub-contract business opportunities.
All regulated procurements above £50k for goods/services and £2 million for works are required to be featured on this platform. Many organisations use Public Contracts Scotland for direct requests for quotations (Quick Quotes) for lower value and non-regulated procurements.
The Sell2Wales website is the information source and procurement portal companies wanting to do business with the Welsh Government. Contracts are offered by a range of publicly-funded organisations including the Welsh Government, local authorities, NHS Trusts and colleges and universities.
The Electronic Tendering website eSourcing NI features all tender opportunities led by Northern Ireland Public Sector and Regulated Contracting Authorities. To this date, more than 15,000 calls for tenders have been made by 138 contracting authorities and more than 8,700 contracts awarded.
Regional Tendering Websites UK
ProContract is a centralised eProcurement system powered by Proactis. Several UK local authorities use this portal to manage their contract opportunities. Proactis claims that the combined spend of all UK local bodies using the platform is over £800 millions.
You have the possibility to receive alerts based on your preferred areas of interest and locations.
27 South West authorities are part of the South Wales Procurement Portal, including Bath & North East Somerset Council and Plymouth City Council. View a complete list here.
Yorkshire & Humber Region Procurement Portal features 25 local bodies including Sheffield City Council, City of York Council, Hull City Council and Leeds City Council. View a complete list to the right of the page here.
44 local authority bodies are part of the procurement portal for the North West, including Liverpool City Council, Manchester City Council and Lancaster City Council.
Another free tender website for the UK is NEPO, featuring resources for the North East region. 14 local authorities are included in this portal, amongst which Durham County Council, Middlesbrough Council and Newcastle City Council.
On the East Midlands business portal you will find public sector contracts opportunities from 22 local councils, including Derby City Council, Leicester City Council and Nottingham City Council.
18 local authorities are making public sector tender opportunities available on the Kent Business Portal, including Canterbury City Council and Kent Schools, Parish Councils and Fire and Rescue Services.
On the London Tenders Portal you can find construction business opportunities from 23 local councils in the area or London, including Brent, Greenwich and Sutton.
On this tender portal for the UK you will find construction leads from 24 local authorities including Oxford City Council, Winchester City Council, Cambridge City Council, Milton Keynes Council and Northampton Borough Council.
On this website you will find tenders and quotations from Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk above the threshold of £25,000. If you are looking for projects below £10,000 you must contact individual departments that may be interested.
Now that we’ve reviewed the list of bidding sites, let’s briefly go through the different procurement procedures types that you will encounter on these websites.
4 Main Procurement Procedures
There are a few different procurement procedures types, but four of them are most commonly used for construction tenders. You can know which procurement procedure will be used by looking at the Contract Notice.
The most frequently used sort, in an open procedure any company can submit a tender and be considered for awarding the contract.
Although anybody can request to be considered for the contract, only preselected suppliers will be eligible to submit a tender. Therefore, in the first stage, a short list of suppliers is selected – usually on the basis of a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). In the second selection stage, after the tenders have been evaluated, the selection process can take place and the contracts can be awarded.
Competitive Dialogue procedure
In this procedure, particular emphasis is placed on the ways in which work is to be performed. That’s why the awarding body negotiates with companies to understand and develop suitable directions.
This procedure has limited applications and is only used when specific project details require in-depth negotiations. Procuring entities in the defence and security, energy, water, transport and postal services sectors may use it as a standard procedure, however.
Find here more information about public tendering rules.
Estimating and takeoff and software
If you are looking for an efficient estimating and takeoff software, have a look at Estimation MEP, the cloud app that will help you generate estimates and takeoffs faster and more accurate. You can test Estimation MEP for 14 days completely free. Visit this link to view how Estimation MEP can help you grow your business.
We hope this construction bidding websites list has helped you identify other sources of information for tender opportunities and gain more ideas for platforms that might be a good fit for you to bid for government contracts in the UK.