Awarded to Big Blue Door Ltd

Start date: Sunday 1 May 2022
Value: £36,350
Company size: SME
Fire & Rescue Service

Provide a modern, accessible website for Essex Fire & Rescue Service

15 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 1 large

17 Completed applications

17 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Monday 24 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 31 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 7 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Essex County Fire & Rescue Service require a modern, cloud hosted website that delivers an improved user experience and improved accessibility features.
Latest start date
Monday 28 March 2022
Expected contract length
East of England
Organisation the work is for
Fire & Rescue Service
Budget range
It is estimated that the work can be delivered within the budget range of £20,000 to £40,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Service Website is an essential public facing platform aside from social media to reach a wide range of stakeholders, with over one and a half million page views between July 2020 – June 2021 alone. The website delivers a range of important information from fire safety advice through to supporting our recruitment and much more in between.

Refreshing the Website is long overdue and has got to the point where anything new that requires further fixes or work from the developer comes at a cost. In addition to this, customisations are very restrictive which limits the amount of interactive and engaging content that can be shared. The current Website is unable to meet our accessibility needs that form part of the Public Sector Accessibility Guidelines, as such limiting the amount of engagement that can be delivered to the community. In summary the current solution is no longer fit for purpose.
Problem to be solved
Provide a modern, accessible website for Essex Fire & Rescue that delivers an improved user experience and improved accessibility features to enable us to meet the Public Sector Accessibility Guidelines
Who the users are and what they need to do
Members of the public need to be able to access the website on any device, have accessibility features available to them and be able to locate the information they need quickly and easily.

The Corporate Communications team need to be able to access, maintain and update the website quickly and easily from any device
Early market engagement
We have reviewed other organisations websites to research appearance and accessibility but have had no contact with any suppliers
Any work that’s already been done
Requirements have been drafted
Existing team
You will be working with the Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager as part of our Digital and Data Programme. You will collaborate with the Programme Director and Project Manager.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Most of the delivery can be conducted remotely but some site visits may be required.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters
Kelvedon Park
London Road
Essex CM8 3HB
Working arrangements
The Essex Fire & Rescue team are contactable between 0830 - 1700hrs Monday - Thursday and 0830 - 1640 hrs Friday
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 extensive experience developing websites (at least 3 websites)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of hosting, implementing and supporting website, content management systems in UK data centres.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of delivering websites with templated designs that can be configured and amended by the Fire Service Comms team themselves.
  • Have experience balancing objectives/design with budgets
  • Have experience with online document management systems
  • Experience building websites fully compliant with the international WCAG 2.1 accessibility standard
  • Extensive knowledge of the CMS (Content Management System) market with a client-centred approach to CMS selection
  • Have experience of delivering cloud based or SaaS based website solutions
  • Have experience of planning, documenting and communicating the design process and concepts in a clear, concise manner
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of implementing web chat and chat bots on websites.
  • Experience delivering visually striking, audience focused websites on limited budgets.
  • Demonstrable provision of secure hosting environment with guaranteed 99.99% uptime
  • Have previous experience working with Public Sector clients
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of re-designing a council website, Fire Service, Police or NHS to support their strategy and for accessibility

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the solution meets user needs
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work collaboratively with members of ICT, Comms and Programme team
  • Explain reasoning for recommendations, including benefits and disbenefits
  • Take responsibility for the quality and timeliness of their work
  • Willingly share knowledge and experience with others
  • Be open, honest and trustworthy
  • Value the contribution and direction of others
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is your budget exclusive of VAT?
Our stated budget does not include VAT
2. Do your team have experience with other Content Management Systems that would influence your choice of CMS?
No, we have no preference for any particular CMS. We require a user-friendly CMS, which non-technical users can use.
3. Providing guaranteed 99.99% uptime can be prohibitively expensive. Our SLA states 99.9%. Would this be acceptable?
99.99% uptime would be our preference however it is not essential. We expect suppliers to propose a solution that balances value for money against robustness of Service
4. Can you please clarify your expectations around web chat and chatbots?
Will this be an automated response in an FAQ style?
Either an automated response in an FAQ style or a direct link to user at Front of House PC during supported staff hours.
5. Has any discovery work been completed to work out who the users of the site are, and their specific needs?
Yes, we have identified our key stakeholders and their specific needs.
6. We note that “requirements have been drafted” for the website. Are these available to suppliers, please?
The requirements will be shared with all shortlisted suppliers in the next phase of the process
7. Can you advise if hosting provision is required as part of this opportunity. If so, what would the contract length be, and are hosting costs to be included in the indicative budget?
Yes, our preference would be a fully hosted and managed solution, the provision of which would be included in the stated budget.

** Suppliers should clearly identify the hosting and/or support and maintenance costs as a separate item within their proposal costs**.

Proposals including hosting should state whether that hosting is public or private cloud, the cloud provider and the availability SLAs that apply.

Our expected contract length would be 8-12 weeks for development, plus 2 years support & maintenance/hosting.
8. Please could you confirm the budget for this work including ongoing hosting, maintenance, and additional support.
Our stated budget includes implementation and the first year's hosting, support and maintenance
9. Does your budget include ongoing hosting, maintenance and support costs for the new site? If so, is this for the first 12 months or longer?
Our stated budget includes implementation and the first year's hosting, support and maintenance.
10. You mention the supplier will need experience of hosting, implementing and supporting website, content management systems in UK data centres. Is this all within the budget of up to £40,000? Or is there a separate budget for hosting and support to the initial website development?
Our stated budget includes implementation and the first year's hosting, support and maintenance.