Awarded to Agile Collective Ltd

Start date: Tuesday 1 March 2022
Value: £189,525
Company size: SME
Cumbria County Council

LocalGov Drupal - Microsites

9 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 0 large

12 Completed applications

12 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 18 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 25 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 1 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Cumbria County Council need help building microsites functionality for LocalGov Drupal, giving council content designers the tools to create standalone sites with basic design customisation.
Latest start date
Wednesday 2 March 2022
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.

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 changing this. We are a group of 22 councils actively collaborating on shared Drupal code that's publicly available at

We have received central government funding to build microsites functionality. Microsites are a huge challenge for councils - our colleagues have to manage hundreds of sites between them which is logistically difficult. They are often built in different and old technologies, and largely fail accessibility standards.

Our new microsites functionality should make it easier for local council digital teams to build, deploy, manage and archive their long tail of content.
Problem to be solved
Many of our 22 councils have microsites - typically small standalone websites with a specific purpose targeted towards a particular audience, often with their own design.

Our councils tell us their microsites are challenge to manage. There's often no governance around building them, meaning they're created for the wrong reasons - for example due to political pressure or that technology on their main website is lacking.

Service teams frequently build them independently of the council's digital team, meaning that they doesn't meet user needs, are inaccessible, or don't have long term technical support. Old microsites are often 'discovered' by digital teams in a broken state.

Microsites can increase the support burden on a council digital team, as the technology used is often different to what they're used to. Legacy sites can be difficult or not cost effective to support.

Ongoing content and technical updates are often problematic. We've heard reports of councils not knowing 'who has the keys' to a website, for example. Content editors may have to learn multiple CMS systems to update everything.

For all of the reasons above, microsites often don't meet user needs and offer a poor experience for citizens.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a citizen, I need clear and easy to find information about all council related 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 single straightforward and cost effective way of managing all the sites our organisation needs to build, so I don't have to manage multiple platforms and legacy technology

As a council content designer, I need a single straightforward way of creating and managing content across all of our sites, so I can provide a consistent experience and don't have to learn different technologies

As a council product manager, I need a solution to build multiple sites that's based on user needs, so I can ensure citizens get the best possible experience
Early market engagement
No early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The need to build microsites was identified in the recently completed Beta phase of our project

The report can be found at

Our microsites proposition work will use Croydon's proposition as a jumping off point - see
Existing team
The team consists of:

- The Product Group sets the 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 Beta report for companies involved to date)

The chosen supplier should provide:

- Delivery Manager for microsites
- Drupal development, design and user research expertise to build microsite features
- Technical Architect to lead the Technical Group
- Dev to answer questions from new councils joining LocalGov Drupal

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
  • Understanding of open source standards and development processes
  • Extensive experience developing Drupal-based websites
  • Extensive experience developing inclusive and accessible digital products
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience developing sites based on LocalGov Drupal
  • Experience of Drupal multi-site development

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Clarity of the approach to delivery
  • The team you will provide and the skills and expertise they bring
  • Demonstrating how LocalGov Drupal councils can be fully involved in the work
Cultural fit criteria
  • Lead on collaborative working between our council, the partner councils and other suppliers
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Challenge the status quo
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Would you consider a commercial off the shelf Drupal 9 based solution for this project? Council Platform ( already supports the running of multiple microsites with devolved front-ends from a single codebase. This is in production usage for Warrington Council and powers the sites of, and, with 2 further sites scheduled for launch this year. The platform allowed Warrington to implement the frontend coding of these sites themselves. That project was completed for a budget of £17k, so there would be a considerable saving to taxpayers on the £190k budget allocated for this project.
LocalGov Drupal was established for councils who want to work together and write their own code, rather than buying an off the shelf platform.

We are happy to work with any supplier - provided the code they create is open source and made freely available on Github to all local authorities. This follows point 12 of the GDS Service Standard

The £190k budget for this project will provide user research, design and development to support hundreds of microsites for the 24 councils currently involved in LocalGov Drupal.