Awarded to Agile Collective Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 7 April 2021
Value: £189,800
Company size: SME
Cumbria County Council

LocalGov Drupal - Beta

15 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 1 large

25 Completed applications

22 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Tuesday 16 February 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 23 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 2 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
To develop LocalGov Drupal as a platform and drive its adoption among across UK local councils and the software supplier community. Explore options for the long term management, governance and financial sustainability of the project.
Latest start date
Monday 8 March 2021
Expected contract length
6 months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Cumbria County Council
Budget range
£190,000 with the possibility of further work subject to procurement rules

About the work

Why the work is being done
The 343 local authorities in the UK spend time and money reinventing web publishing systems for their sites. There's been little collaboration around common needs and shared code.

We estimate this is costing councils millions of pounds each year which could be spent on other services. It's also clear that many councils don't have sufficient resources to deliver fully on user needs, and this has an impact on UK citizens.

LocalGov Drupal is an attempt to change this. Our Discovery phase found a willingness amongst councils to work together on Drupal code. We also researched open source models extensively. The Alpha phase refactored existing Drupal code from the partner councils, and provided an opportunity to test open and collaborative working practices.

The resulting Drupal distribution is publicly available at, and is actively used by 10 UK councils so far. To date, four councils have launched websites using the distribution.

The Beta phase will allow us to scale this work, refine our processes and make it easier for more councils to join us.
Problem to be solved
Our main goal is to drive adoption of LocalGov Drupal across UK local councils and the software supplier community. We need to build on the brand, online presence and community engagement work started in Alpha. This will include blogging about the project, tweeting @localgovdrupal and attending relevant events.

We need to review our onboarding experience, documentation and processes to make it as easy as possible for new councils to join, and existing partners to maximise the value of their collaboration. This will include enhancements to our "shop window" at

The LocalGov Drupal code needs to be further developed to meet new common publishing needs identified by the partner councils (which include directories, microsites, simple forms and integrations with other systems).

We need to refine our evaluation measures (for example cost and time savings, reduction in failure demand, ease of use) which will help make the case to councils for joining.

Finally, we need to explore options for the long term management, governance and financial sustainability of LocalGov Drupal. This will require legal and business development input. Currently the project is a loose partnership of councils governed by an MOU, and there is no core funded team.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a citizen, I need easy to find, clear information about local council services, so that I can meet my household's needs

As a local business or third sector organisation, I need easy to find, clear information about my local council's support offer, so that I can meet my organisation's needs

As a council IT lead, I need a straightforward and cost effective way of upgrading and maintaining our website publishing platform, so that it delivers accessible and useful information to local citizens and organisations

As a council IT lead, I need to understand what LocalGov Drupal offers and whether it meets our needs, so that I can decide whether to use it

As a developer of a council using/ joining LocalGov Drupal, I need clear documentation, standards and processes, so that I can build and contribute effectively

As a product manager at a council using/ joining LocalGov Drupal, I need to understand the product vision, development priorities and how to suggest ideas, so I can make sure the distribution meets the needs of our users
Early market engagement
No early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
This work is part of a programme supported by the MHCLG Local Digital Fund

Findings from the Discovery phase are published at Our development and contribution processes and standards were informed by extensive research of best practice models.

Findings from the Alpha phase are published at
Existing team
The team consists of:

- The Product Group which sets the product vision/ roadmap. Includes product people from the councils, supported by other disciplines

- The Technical Group which manages development processes and standards, and delivers on Product Group priorities. Includes developers from the councils and their suppliers (see Alpha report for companies involved to date)

The chosen supplier should provide:

- Delivery Manager to lead the project
- Technical Architect to lead the Technical Group
- Drupal development, design and user research expertise to build project features
- Legal and Business Development expertise

See for job descriptions
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Work will be conducted remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions in place during the contract period.

If restrictions are lifted, we intend to hold a one off face to face meeting at a central UK location of the partner councils and their teams.
Working arrangements
There will be weekly project meetings via video. Work plans will be agreed and monitored by the LocalGov Drupal project team.

We will use collaborative tools such as Google Meet, Github, Trello and Miro.

Our work is open and transparent - we blog and share openly so that others can learn from our experience are encouraged to join the project.
Security clearance
None needed

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Please note:

- all bids are to be produced at the candidate's expense

- Cumbria County Council is not bound to accept any tender, nor enter into a contract as a result of this procurement

- Contract terms to be agreed with the LocalGov Drupal project team and Cumbria County Council

- The winner will need to sign a certificate relating to canvassing and non-collusion

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
  • Understand open source standards and development processes (12%)
  • Have extensive Drupal development experience (12%)
  • Provide a multidisciplinary team, including delivery manager, front end design and user research (6%)
  • Provide legal and business development experience to help us understand long term options for the project (6%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Have experience of a similar project (6%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How the approach or solution meets our project's goal (6%)
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs (6%)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (6%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Lead on collaborative working between our council, the partner councils and other suppliers (8%)
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members (4%)
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions (4%)
  • Challenge the status quo (4%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there an incumbent agency who delivered the Discovery and the Alpha? Will they be tendering for this piece of work?
There is no incumbent provider or active contract. The Discovery and Alpha phases were undertaken by Agile Collective and DXW. Some partner councils procured their own agencies to build websites based on LocalGov Drupal. We expect some of these agencies will tender for the work.
2. What is the likelihood of the starting date for this work, as the current suggested earliest starting date is 3 working days after the final application submission date, which doesn’t give time for application reviews and contracts to be put in place?
We would expect suppliers to be available for an initial meeting on this date to start setting up the Beta work. The project proper would need to start no later than Monday 22nd March.
3. The opportunity suggests that 24% of the score goes on the first two Essential Skills and Experiences, which suppliers only get 100 words for each one to respond with. Will we be able to address these points in more detail in the stage 2 written proposal?
Yes, we would expect suppliers to explain in more detail how they meet essential skills and experiences criteria in the stage 2 written proposal.
4. Can you provide details of the production and non-production hosting environments for this work. Do these already exist, or are you expecting both hosting environments and ongoing service/ support management to be included in the budget stated? If so, what hosting standards and support standards are you concerned with?
Partner councils host their own LocalGov Drupal powered sites, so there’s no requirement for the project to have large scale hosting of its own. We would expect the supplier to provide within the budget a testing environment for the project team, and a publicly available demo site for councils that are considering using LocalGov Drupal. Small scale AWS or similar environments are acceptable, and there’s no requirement for 24/7 support.
5. Could you please expand on the requirements for ‘legal and business development input’, as most Drupal agencies would not have this capability in-house beyond their own business development processes? It may be that this consultancy element should be procured separately.
We need the supplier to help us identify and better understand options for running and funding LocalGov Drupal into the future. We expect a typical supplier's own business development functions should be sufficient for this, and information on legal structures should be publicly available. See the ‘Governance and Licensing models’ link on slide 59 of the Discovery report as an example of this. Suppliers are permitted to partner with other organisations to provide additional expertise if they feel this is needed.
6. Can you provide a view on the UI/ UX and HTML and CSS output from the Alpha Phase. Do you foresee significant updates to the existing look and feel and templates, or minimal work around new features only? We are trying to ascertain if we need full time UI/UX designer for a period or not?
We don’t anticipate significant changes to the LocalGov Drupal default theme. New site features will need design work, but this should be based on existing patterns, and draw from other suitable sources (eg GOV.UK Design System)
7. Are submission accepted only if solution implemented on Drupal? By our analysis Drupal is very poor in access management and page level access management. Drupal doesn’t allow crowdsourcing functions easily either. Based on Gov projects done on Drupal have taken long, costed almost without exception 40-200% more than originally planned and require heavy customization on platform which does not support the modern day.
The working code used in the distribution and on live partner sites is Drupal, so we are not able to change platform or accept non-Drupal solutions.
8. Can you please clarify how we should submit our full written proposal as stated under the ‘How suppliers will be evaluated’ section?
When the application closes, we will shortlist suppliers following Digital Marketplace advice at

After this we will request a written proposal from those suppliers using the template at