Awarded to Ove Arup & Partners Ltd

Start date: Friday 12 June 2020
Value: £25,000
Company size: large
Adur & Worthing Councils

Design Lab: Citizen WiFi

6 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 2 large

3 Completed applications

2 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Tuesday 10 March 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 17 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 24 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Run a Design Lab to develop a model for free ultra-fast public connectivity to drive economic, social and environmental outcomes. The main deliverable of the work will be a proposed Citizen Wi-Fi model, underpinned by user needs and technical viability. Propose a generic Design Lab approach for future projects.
Latest start date
Thursday 30 April 2020
Expected contract length
2 months for Citizen WiFi, up to 18 months if future labs commissioned
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Adur & Worthing Councils
Budget range
The budget for Design Labs for Place-making is up to £150k, with each Lab costing £15-25k depending on scope size. The initial work is for the Citizen WiFi Design Lab only. Further Design Labs are not guaranteed at this stage and each will be subject to separate approval.

About the work

Why the work is being done
We are seeking to improve the user experience of place through digital infrastructure and digital services. We are wary of tech led 'smart cities' approaches and wish to use service design methods to explore how digital connectivity and place-based digital services and experiences can improve economic, social and environmental outcomes. We wish to establish a model for 'Design Labs' which will undertake discovery, community engagement and prototyping. The first Design Lab will be on providing free connectivity through "Citizen WiFi", with other design lab challenges to follow if successful.

Future Design Labs may include Digital Inclusion for Business, Digital Visitor Experience, Sensing Place and the Digital Twin (IoT), Smarter, Greener Transport.
Problem to be solved
We know that our town centre and secondary shopping areas are changing and that new interventions are required to help re-create vibrant centres. We know that the most vulnerable are increasingly reliant on internet connectivity, and that we need to attract visitors, potentially 'joining up' experiences through digital. We want to explore how Citizen WiFi (free ultra-fast public WiFi) can help drive economic, social and environmental value, and play a key part in 'digital place-making'. Using service design methods, we want to examine the user needs of a number of groups (retailers, visitors, freelancers, SMEs, the digitally excluded, and the environment as a stakeholder) to explore a free Citizen WiFi service model that meets those needs, and delivers wider outcomes.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a local independent retailer I need to attract customers into my shop so that I can secure sales

As a shopper I need to know what's on offer from local retailers so that I can visit, browse and buy

As a freelance worker I need to get reliable fast connectivity in many places so that I can do my work at low or no cost

As a visitor I need to know what to visit so that I can maximise my enjoyment of the town, and travel sustainably

As someone without internet access I need to access the web so that I can use government services, find support, and save money on bills and shopping

As an economic development officer I need to understand anonymised trends and patterns of use of the town centre and other areas so that I can develop interventions to support growth
Early market engagement
There has been no early market engagement on Citizen WiFi
Any work that’s already been done
Full fibre infrastructure is being installed in 90 council locations over the next two years by CityFibre, a dark fibre provider. The Councils are currently conducting analysis on mobile coverage not-spots, public WiFi coverage options, Low-Power (LoRa) WAN options, and 5G readiness to ensure the 90 sites are positioned at optimum locations. Beyond a citizen survey in 2019 that confirmed a general need for public WiFi, the Councils have not completed any service design work on Citizen Wifi, but are currently reviewing the technical options and intending to commence procurement for the physical infrastructure imminently.
Existing team
The successful agency will be working on Citizen WiFi with the Director for Digital & Resources at Adur & Worthing and the gigabit project manager. There will be a close working relationship with the Adur & Worthing Place & Investment and Digital teams, and also the West Sussex Digital Infrastructure team. The Design Lab work will be reported into the Everything Connects Group (digital place group for West Sussex local authorities) and the Greater Brighton Economic Board.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The supplier will work in Worthing and Adur, principally conducting fieldwork, but will be able to work remotely otherwise, with regular video calls enabling continuous feedback.
Working arrangements
There will be a regular catch-up video call each Friday to provide continuous feedback. Project materials will be created and stored in a shared Google Team Drive. The selected agency will provide a clear engagement & project plan, and the council project team will advance opportunities.
Security clearance
The selected agency must ensure any representatives dealing with the public are DBS checked.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Service design in public services
  • User Research
  • UX and digital prototyping
  • Experience in Privacy by Design (GDPR)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Graphic design
  • Experience of designing services for public spaces
  • Experience in public WiFi Research
  • Sufficient background knowledge of WiFi technologies

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure including skills and experience
  • Estimated time frame for the work
  • Risks and dependencies and how they will be managed
  • Value for money
  • Supply relevant case studies
  • Provide client references
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

No questions have been answered yet