Awarded to Big Blue Door Ltd

Start date: Thursday 21 October 2021
Value: £105,400
Company size: SME
London Borough of Southwark Council

Digital information hub for youth services in Southwark

16 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 1 large

22 Completed applications

22 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Friday 6 August 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 13 August 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 20 August 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
We would like to develop a digital information hub providing comprehensive, up-to-date and accessible information about activities and services for young people and families. We would like to create a flexible, user-friendly, interactive website meeting the needs of young people, their parents/carers, and organisations providing services to young people.
Latest start date
Friday 17 September 2021
Expected contract length
Organisation the work is for
London Borough of Southwark Council
Budget range
The maximum budget for the initial website development project is £80,000. Ideally we would also require a maintenance contract for a period of 3-5 years. Applicants should be prepared to quote for initial development and ongoing maintenance.

About the work

Why the work is being done
We would like to develop a digital information hub to provide comprehensive, up to date and accessible information about activities and services for young people and their families. This is a high profile project that came out of a recent review of youth services in the council.

Our aim for this project is to create a flexible, user-friendly, interactive website which meets the needs of young people, their parents and carers, and external organisations providing services locally to young people. We would like to go live with this website this financial year.
Problem to be solved
The current youth services web pages are very basic, providing a list of youth services and their locations along with events that take place at these locations:

There is no option for users to register with the service, to receive notifications when events are taking place, or for external providers to list their services, facilities and events. We need a website which allows us to bring together comprehensive, up to date and accessible information about facilities, activities and services for young people and their families.

There should be a directory of all provision for young people in the borough which can easily be updated by council staff, youth providers and other organisations. The look and feel of the website should be appealing to young people aged 14-18. Users should be able to search for information using a simple keyword search or a more advanced search with different fields, including subject and geographical area. Users should be able to view results as a list or on a map which shows the locations of the services, activities or events.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a young person I should be able to:
*search for information, activities or events by category/date/location *view results in a list/calendar/map filtered by subject/location
*register and receive notifications when events or information are added which match my interests

As a user I should be able to:
*have a landing page that allows me to select whether I am a young person/parent/youth provider, with the information I view tailored depending on selection
*view on map all available youth services in Southwark and see full details by selecting
*bookmark or create saved list of services/activities and export/email
*provide moderated feedback and add ratings/reviews/comments

As a youth provider I should be able to:
*add information to website including specifying search terms and geographical location with exact location pinpointed on map display
*set an end date on listings after which automatically removed from the live system-automated reminder to staff/user pre-expiry

As a staff member I will be able to:
*verify information added before it goes live
*automated process to hide events/activities that have happened
*amend information added by providers
*generate usage reports
*control look and feel of push notifications and save templates for messages for system use
*receive a notification when someone registers
Early market engagement
As part of the extensive review of youth services in Southwark, engagement work with young people, parents/carers and professionals took place that asked questions around how they accessed information and what they would like to see in a youth services website. This discovery work has informed the requirements.

We would like to be able to present the alpha design and succeeding agile iterations of the new website to a panel of young people with their comments influencing the development and final version. This will enable us to ensure user research and feedback is gained and utilised during the development phase, which is essential in ensuring the product meets the needs of our stakeholders. The Youth Services Manager will assemble the stakeholders who will provide their feedback at each stage, and will present the product to the group and then summarise the feedback and provide this to the supplier.

A cross council initiative is currently underway to create a ‘directories of service’ for residents which adheres to the open data referral standard ( Any database element to this website should adhere to this standard so there is the possibility of integrating with the corporate directory of services when developed.
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
This project is being commissioned by the youth services team, which sits within the Culture department and will be led by the Youth Services Manager, supported by Head of Culture.

The council has a web services team, but this website is expected to be developed/maintained by the successful supplier. The council’s youth services team will provide the main input into the design of the website, which is expected to adhere to existing standards and best practice around design, accessibility and security. Suppliers must adhere to WCAG 2.1 accessibility standard, Southwark branding guidelines and GDS design principles, and use agile development.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Southwark Council offices in London, Tooley Street, SE1
Working arrangements
It is expected that the successful agency will make at least one, potentially more, visits to our office at London Bridge or a designated youth centre in Southwark during the project. Equally, we are happy to be flexible, and visit the successful agency in person when needed. However, much of the work can be done remotely, with contact made through email, telephone, Zoom / Teams etc. Weekly catch up meetings during the initial design stage would be beneficial, with a minimum of annual account meetings once the website is live and we have moved to the maintenance stage.
Security clearance

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
  • Have experience of designing and maintaining web services
  • Have experience of creating a solution which makes tangible improvements for the user
  • Have experience of conforming with brand guidelines whilst maintaining an innovative approach
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the user needs associated with the creation of a website for young people, parents/carers and local youth organisations
  • Have experience of implementing a platform that services a range of levels of user
  • Experience of developing applications to meet the standards and best practice of local government
  • Have experience of designing to meet the public sector accessibility guidelines
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate a track-record of user-centred design and Agile approaches to delivery
  • Have experience of working within the local government/or not-for-profit sector

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/solution meets user needs
  • Quality of technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How agile development can be used to incorporate stakeholder feedback
  • Identification of risks and dependencies and approached to manage them
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Value for money
  • Team structure, including skills and experiences of individuals
  • Experience from a similar project
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Did an external partner assist you in the early market engagement or discovery phase for this project?
Yes an external partner assisted us in the early engagement and discovery phase with young people through a review of youth services.
2. What web platform will you be using for the site?
The Southwark website is hosted with Microsoft Azure, using some cloud services for network, storage and security. The Southwark site is hosted on a production web server using a load balanced web server IIS and clustered SQL server. At the application level the CMS and code is written in C# .net.
3. Based on an existing partner having been involved in early market engagement, is there any reason they would not be involved in the next stage of this project?
They would not be involved in the next stage as they were leading on a youth review of services not pacifically to do with this project, it was one of the recommendations that came out of the review.
4. Would you be prepared to move to a new CMS and possibly data centre, i.e. Drupal and AWS?
No we would not be prepared to do that as part of this project.
5. Have experience of designing and maintaining web services’ – is this referring to websites/web solutions in general or specifically in creating web services (e.g. Web APIs, JSON, integration points)?
Web Services experience includes integrations like the use of APIs that may use JSON payload and the design and support for web solutions.
6. Have experience of designing and maintaining web services’ – is this referring to websites/web solutions in general or specifically in creating web services (e.g. Web APIs, JSON, integration points)?
Yes, web services experience would be required for this project.
7. Are you open to an approach which produces different sites to suit the different user groups you’ve identified?
The on site with different sections.
8. Are you open to an approach which uses different technologies to your current stack?
For ease of implementation and maintenance, any new technology should be be compatible with Windows Server, IIS and Windows SQL server.
9. Are you open to re-use of existing solutions where appropriate?
10. Your answers to previous questions imply that the digital information hub should be built using and that no other CMS will be considered. Is that correct?
No, it would be possible to host a microsite on the test and production environment: web server (IIS) and database: SQL Server not built within the Web-labs system. Sites are set up on the web server as instances in IIS that reference local files and data is held in SQl Server tables.
11. Will documentation from the early market engagement be made available prior to the proposal stage?
Additional information can be found in the Cabinet report in this link:

For appendices mentioned in the report above please look at this link item 14:
12. Can you share the research methods, questions and synthesis etc produced as part of your discovery work (we’re happy to explore the whole review if that’s the easiest way)?
Additional information can be found in the Cabinet report in this link:

For appendices mentioned in the report above please look at this link item 14:
13. Can you please confirm if this will be a new section of the existing Southwark council site, or if this is a new and separate site?
I can confirm it is a new and separate site with a link from the Southwark council site to it.
14. To ensure the site will meet the needs of your users, along with meeting accessibility standards and best practice around design and security, we expect to complete this work using an established open-source flexible CMS, such as WordPress. On the understanding that the new site should be hosted on your current test and production environments, would you be open to considering an alternative CMS?
15. Are you only considering on premise solutions, hosted by Southwark, or would you consider a SAAS solution, hosted by us in the UK?
Yes it’s possible.
16. Can the council elaborate on what is meant by ‘a range of levels of user?’ in the essential skills and experience questions?
Staff, organisations and young people
Full admin rights
Logins for organisations to submit data and amend data
Logins for young people
17. Understanding that the council are open to considering a new CMS, would Drupal be an acceptable option?
Drupal may be acceptable if it can be implemented in a Windows Server environment.
18. To allow us to effectively monitor, maintain and support the site once live, would you consider a third-party hosting PaaS for the site?
We would consider platform as a service for site monitoring, maintenance and support.
19. monitoring, maintaining and supporting a site that isn’t hosted on infrastructure we control is often more expensive than if we are able to host it ourselves and use the established tooling in place to provide this service.
For complete clarity, are you stating that the new site must be hosted on Southwark’s infrastructure?
If so, can you please explain the reasons for this?
The new site doesn’t have to be hosted on our infrastructure.