This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 17 May 2022
The Trustees of the British Museum

BM.22.031 British Museum Website Maintenance and Development

7 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 0 large

14 Completed applications

14 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 3 May 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 10 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 17 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
An opportunity to maintain, support and develop the British Museum's main website:
Latest start date
Friday 12 August 2022
Expected contract length
2 years
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
The Trustees of the British Museum
Budget range
£35,000 to £40,000 per annum

About the work

Why the work is being done
The British Museum is seeking to award a contract for maintenance, support and development of The website based on Drupal 9 was launched in 2021. It is hosted on The website consists of various sections including a blog. Collections search (managed and developed by separate developers) is a popular feature. The CMS includes an events module used by staff to update event listings. A Cookiebot GDPR cookie management platform is installed. The website has a high level of compliance with the WCAG 2.1 level AA accessibility standard, which the Museum must maintain.
Problem to be solved is a popular website which serves multiple types of users. It needs to be maintained and developed to a high standard to ensure it continues to offer an excellent user experience for people from all over the world, including those with disabilities. The website should also comply with the requirements of Cyber Essentials, the GDPR and the WCAG (2.1 to level AA).

Upcoming roadmap priorities include the development of profile pages for key members of staff and integration of the website with a ticketing system provided by Tessitura.
Who the users are and what they need to do primarily serves those who:
* Are planning a visit to the Museum
* Are wishing to attend the Museum's exhibitions and events
* Are exploring the Museum's online collection catalogue
* Are learning about or teaching history
* Want to support the Museum through memberships, donations and product purchases
* Seek to understand more about the Museum's objectives, plans and past work

The backend of the website is used by the website team, members of the Communications department and staff who update the events module.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The supplier will be working primarily with the Website Product Manager, but also other key staff including the Website Content team, the Research Services Product Manager and the Infrastructure team. There will be occasional work required with third party organisations, such Tessitura (ticketing website) and the companies who develop the Collections search database and the OLX membership subscription forms.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The BM team is based at the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG and/or remotely. We do not expect the supplier to deliver the work from our site.
Working arrangements
All maintenance and development work to take place at the supplier's offices or remotely. Periodic meetings with the Museum, to discuss maintenance, support and development, should take place via video conference software such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, or via telephone. Other communications, such as raising tickets or requests, should take place via email and/or online tools such as Jira.
Security clearance
No clearances are needed to commence work, your staff will need to be either provided with security passes or escorted if the need arises for them to come on site to back of house areas. The Museum will assist with provision of any security passes if needed.

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
  • Demonstrable experience (three live site examples) and track record in building and developing large, consumer facing responsive websites, on Drupal (9 +).
  • Ability to use existing designs as the starting point for all other design work.
  • Demonstrate experience and examples of producing high-quality and impactful frontend designs, which are aesthetically pleasing, intuitive, drive action, and inclusive of a variety of user needs.
  • Provide a full service digital agency with a full complement of roles such as IA, UX, technical, build, development and support.
  • Have experience of migrating and rationalising content from an existing site.
  • Have experience and skills using Waterfall and Agile project methodologies and happy using a blended approach.
  • Have experience of providing supporting technical and architectural documentation, that is tailored for a range of user groups.
  • Have experience of providing tools that support the export of content easily in a format such as XML, CSV or similar
  • Have experience delivering digital services to at least a AA WCAG 2.1 web accessibility standard and an awareness of WCAG 2.2.
  • Have experience optimising sites for continued improvement using Google Analytics.
  • Holds or confirms commitment to obtain Cyber Essentials certification prior to starting work.
  • Have experience of integrating to a service via an API, building relational databases, or tables within the CMS and local data stores.
  • Have a good understanding of content optimised for conversion (CRO), SEO (on-page, architecture and technical) and engagement.
  • Can provide examples of successful website integrations with APIs, other applications and databases/feeds.
  • Have experience of building search pages that can use tools (e.g. faceted, sort, displays, filters, maps) for our collection online front-end search.
  • Experience of building content goals and funnels aligned to business KPIs.
  • Operation of support helpdesk to answer queries and raise tickets during hours of operation with severity linked response times and robust processes for out-of-hours service.
  • Have a defined process for scheduling work, whether proactive maintenance, bug fixing or new developments.
  • Have a proactive approach to maintenance, i.e. schedules security updates to core CMS and modules as and when required, monitors applications and hardware, and backs up codes, files and data.
  • Have experience of building ecommerce websites, or those with advanced search databases (involving catalogues or merchandising).
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of working with large public sector organisations (familiarity with cultures, governance structures and set-up).
  • Have experience in managing and developing large, high profile, high traffic websites in the heritage/culture sector.
  • Have experience of building sites which have content or service hubs or sub categories that act as their own destinations.
  • Have experience of building site wide searches such as ElasticSearch, Lucene, Solr.
  • Have experience building local databases inside a CMS with integrations to third party systems and writing rules and fetch scripts to update records (unidirectional).
  • Have experience integrating with OLX for membership subscriptions, Tessitura (TNEW) for ticketing, Cookiebot for GDPR compliance.
  • Have experience taking over products developed by other agencies and/or projects that have been previously started, where there are pre-determined recommendations, high level requirements gathered through internal discovery process.
  • Team passionate about public engagement and cultural institutes.

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 approach or solution meets our user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets our organisation’s policy or goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work closely as a team with our organisation
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is The British’s Museum’s reasons behind potentially moving to a new supplier?
The existing contract is approaching the end of its term. Given the value of the contract over its planned duration re-tendering is required by the Museum's procurement policies.
2. Is there any involvement with the Chinese site for this tender or is that run completely separately and just represented by the footer link?
This tender does not include the Chinese website.
3. Are there any plans to have a more incorporated multisite, multilingual option in the future?
At this stage there are no plans to develop a multilingual website.
4. Would it be possible to share any high level metrics like monthly traffic or anything else related to visitor volume?
There were more than 14 million sessions on in 2021/22. The current average is about 1 million sessions per month
5. Is there an incumbent currently providing maintenance services and will they be available to perform a handover to the potential new supplier?
There is an incumbent provider of maintenance services. Mobilisation activities, including handover, will be addressed at the following tender stage of this procurement.
6. Is the existing supplier of The British Museum website involved in this tender process?
The incumbent supplier is eligible to submit a tender, they will not be involved in any aspect of the evaluation.
7. Would The British Museum be interested in the chosen supplier taking on the hosting of the website?
A change in the hosting provider is not in scope for this procurement.
8. Is the Collections search functionality included in the required maintenance?
You will be responsible for maintaining pages related to the Museum's collections. You will need to work with the third party supplier, Knowledge Integration, who currently maintain the elasticsearch tool that provides the collections database search functionality.
9. Is the Tessitura ticketing system currently integrated within the website?
Not yet.
10. Can you also confirm if support will be limited to Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm or if you require support outside working hours?
Active support is required Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm with 24/7 monitoring in place. Detail on expected SLAs and KPIs will be provided at the following tender stage of this procurement.
11. With the significant change in user behavior's on digital services since the pandemic and remote working, Is there an additional budget out of scope to conduct user research before evolving the new website?
Such user research is planned however it is outside the scope of this procurement. Outcomes from the research will inform development of the website during the contract term.
12. Is there any additional budget outside of the £40k to initially conduct an accessibility audit and usability assessment to help us highlight and understand challenges that need to be addressed as part of the design, development and evolution of the website?
Such an audit and usability assessment is planned however it is outside the scope of this procurement. Outcomes from those activities will inform development of the website during the contract term.
13. Can you confirm the number of support hours required per month?
The current support level averages 30 hours per month based on need.
14. Do you have a roadmap for the website to include new feature development and experience updates (i.e. items that go beyond maintenance and BAU)?
A roadmap is available but will not be disclosed until the subsequent tender phase of this procurement.
15. Are there any additional opportunities that may run alongside this particular tender? I.e. for other required digital services?
This tender is relates to maintenance, support and development of the website only. Any other digital services will be procured separately if required.
16. Are you looking for your existing tech stack to be audited as part of a new agency onboarding process?
No, such an audit will not be a deliverable under this contract.