Leeds City Council

Rebuilding Leeds City Council Web Estate on the Drupal platform to be hosted on AWS

19 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 4 large

4 Completed applications

4 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Friday 6 May 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 13 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 20 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
LCC require a team with Drupal and AWS knowledge and experience to work with our team to review the current web estate, make recommendations on how to best consolidate and redevelop it (centred around the user journey) and undertake the first tranche of redevelopment work.
Latest start date
Monday 1 August 2022
Expected contract length
18 months with an optional extension of up to 4 months (if required)
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Leeds City Council
Budget range
The budget range is £400,000 - £600,000 for the first 12 months with a further £150,000 - £300,000 in the following 6 months.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Leeds City Council is undertaking work to move all its web content across to a Drupal 9 platform, hosted on AWS. Most of the internally hosted websites are built on a Sharepoint platform which goes out of support in 2023 so these need to be migrated to a new platform. In addition, there are a number of websites (100+) which have been built and are externally hosted which hold information which may sometimes be inconsistent or out of date. A wholesale review of these is required to determine how these sites can be consolidated, updated and refreshed to present a consistent and enhanced user experience.
Problem to be solved
Leeds City Council needs to redevelop the web estate to move from SharePoint to a Drupal 9 platform. We require the redevelopment of the current intranet to cater for staff who do not have an LCC account login whilst also providing network access to a reduced number of pages and documents which cannot be made available publicly.
Leeds.gov.uk plus a number of more recently developed sites can generally be replicated on Drupal with some re-development where required.
There are also a range of websites across various business areas in the council which in some instances overlap; in some cases these will need to be consolidated or decommissioned. These standalone websites need to be reviewed with a view to bringing functional areas together and enhancing the user journey to deliver a more coherent, consistent web experience both for Leeds citizens and visitors from outside the city.
We also require LCC staff to acquire skills in Drupal and associated technical fields for futureproofing, so skills transfer would be a vital part of this piece of work.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As an organisation, I need to provide a secure, coherent web presence with the user at the centre of the design. As an income-generating service, I need to ensure my site encourages visitors to Leeds and provides them with the best online experience possible. As a site administrator, I need to edit and manage online data efficiently and to WCAG standards with integration with social media channels. I need to embed content across a variety of mediums, visualise statistics and site analytics and manage secure areas where needed with sensitive data for professionals to access. As a professional, I need to access information relevant to my service in a clear and accessible format, whilst also being able to access secure-by-design areas. As a service user, I may have low levels of English and/or literacy and a low capacity internet connection. I may need simple introductory content and eforms. As a site visitor, I need clear routes to relevant information. I need to be able to access the information I need or to access help to find what I need quickly and efficiently.
Early market engagement
Early market engagement has not been undertaken.
Any work that’s already been done
Some work has been done in a pilot phase to develop a small number of websites in Drupal 9. The Design System on which the current Leeds.gov.uk is based on is being redeveloped in Drupal with a view to providing the building blocks for future website redevelopment.
Existing team
The existing team consists of a Project Manager, two Project Leads, a Drupal developer, a Front-end Developer/Designer as well as Leeds City Council technical colleagues ranging from security to solutions architects to an accessibility auditor. We are currently recruiting some roles to bolster resources. There is an expectation that the supplier will be contracted to provide a team that will review the web estate and providing recommendations as well as deliver a large number of the required redeveloped websites which will be supported on AWS by LCC.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The expectation is the work will delivered largely remotely but there may be some requirement to attend offices in the Leeds City Region.
Working arrangements
The supplier staff will ideally work within office hours for Leeds City Council: Monday to Friday 8:30 to 5pm. Ideally analysis and user research will be conducted in person where it is agreed to be necessary. Due to the agile accelerated delivery of the project, we would expect availability for regular stand-ups and agreed timescales for responses to feedback/developments.
Security clearance
A standard credit check will apply when the contract is awarded. There will be a need for BPSS checks as the team will be (at times) dealing with personal and sensitive data.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
No expenses will be paid. All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of UK data protection legislation and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects. The supplier should provide an estimated time/cost breakdown before the commencement of each statement of work.

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
  • At least 2 years experience in Drupal development including a minimum of Drupal 8. However the work will be built in Drupal 9.(1)
  • At least 2 years protyping, designing and building web services which meet user needs and WCAG guidelines for content design and accessibility (demonstrated through links and documentation of relevant sites/services)(1)
  • In house team of user research, user centred designers, Drupal developers, UX designers, content designers, web architecture designers, analytics specialists, SEO specialists and business analysis skills to detail business requirements.(1)
  • Scrum master / delivery manager experience and expertise (1)
  • Expertise in user-centred design. (1)
  • Expertise in providing solutions with robust security capabilities, adhering to Cloud Security Principles requirements, and within required Information Governance frameworks (eg GDPR). (1)
  • Experience of agile accelerated delivery. (1)
  • At least 2 years experience of hosting Drupal on AWS public cloud, including high availability, scaleout, CI/CD pipeline and automation. (1)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of delivering a series of small projects in an agile manner in tight timescales.(1)
  • Experience of reviewing a number of siloed websites and providing recommendations on consolidation and integration. (1)
  • Experience of site creation on multiple compatible formats (e.g. browser, mobile etc) (1)
  • QA and testing services experience including experience of regression, automated and smoke testing. (1)
  • Experience of Drupal 9 (1)

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Ability to meet timeframes for the work. Processes used to monitor process and mitigate slippage. (4)
  • Identifiying risks and dependencies and offering approaches to manage them. (4)
  • Meeting our needs in terms of review, user centred design, accessible design (WCAG) and consolidation of standalone websites? (Interview) (4)
  • Approach to user-testing and ensuring learning from this has an effect on website development. (Interview) (4)
  • Proposed approach to analysis of the current web estate and how to best implement best user-centred and accessible design? (Interview) (4)
  • Ability to deliver in an agile manner. Approach to agile working. (3)
  • Level of support service provided between deployment and movement to BAU. (3)
  • Ability to curate both project and agile development delivery plans from the requirements provided. (3)
  • Estimated timescales for review and each workstream. (4)
  • The breakdown of the team involved with the project delivery. (Interview) (4)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Will work collaboratively as a team with our organisation and can work both remotely and on location, maintaining strong relationships and assisting successful skills transfer to the project team. (1)
  • Takes responsibility for their work, assuming ownership for mistakes and rectifying in a timely manner. (1)
  • Provides clear and comprehensive communications, detailing work undertaken, blockages and/or solutions reached. (1)
  • Be willing to provide challenge and offer alternatives in a constructive manner. (1)
  • Proactive and engaged attitude when working with stakeholders and working collaboratively with services that have different remits (citizen focused/income-generating) which have a varying level of technical expertise.(1)
  • Register for the Social Value portal https://socialvalueportal.force.com/SiteLoginLWC?startURL=%2Fapex%2FsArticle%3Fid%3Da060K00001EQl5w) with further detailed responses required post-shortlisting. (10)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are you open to hosting the new website on a modern hosting PaaS (such as platform.sh) that is built upon AWS, thus providing less intensive inhouse expertise /support for deployments?
We are confident the architecture build that we have undertaken will be sufficient for seamless deployment.
2. Can we check if the resource requirements cover T&M resources for fixed bid resources?
We are unable to answer this question as we are unsure of what this question is asking.
3. Has this work already been soft assigned to the Agile Collective?
We do not understand this question however we are happy to provide a response if more detail is provided.
4. Approximately how many websites are we planning to re-platform? And all of them are currently linked to Leeds.gov.uk website?
We currently have over 100 “standalone” websites – however part of the project will be assessing where these sites can be reabsorbed or combined with other sites or into leeds.gov.uk.
5. Do these websites link to any web applications?
They do not, those sites are exempt from this project.
6. Is there any personal data that needs to be processed in any of the sites?
There is some discovery work to be done on this, but yes there will be personal data on the sites.
7. For every website, is there an expectation that an UI/UX expert will create the initial design and user journeys and once the design is approved, re platform will be done?
Each site will need some level of investigation with user journey and user centred design as standard. When that is complete it will indicate if the site can be replatformed, absorbed into existing sites or if there is no further design work to be done.
8. Is the cost for hosting in AWS included in the budget – or would this be a separate line item of cost, covered directly by the City Council?
AWS infrastructure is handled with the Council’s AWS account therefore billing will be covered by the Council.
9. What CI/CD are you using on AWS? Terraform or Kubernetes ? Or something else?
CI/CD will be Jenkins with AWS CodePipeline with AWS CloudFormation.
10. Will a UX and redesign phase be required as part of this contract?
Yes, this is required.
11. Is there an incumbent in place for this contract?
12. What skills and level of experience do the LCC team already have that we can complement in the Drupal and AWS?
At the moment there is minimal internal experience in Drupal development but internal colleagues are upskilling in AWS.
13. Who is to responsible for the “wholesale review” of the 100+ external websites that need consolidating/refreshed?
The successful supplier would be leading on the review, reporting back to the Project Managers.
14. What system is the current Intranet based on? Is it the same old version of Sharepoint?
Yes it is the same version.
15. What system do you use to provide the LCC account logins, is it a single sign on system and will it need to be suported by the Drupal CMS?
LCC uses LDAP/Active Directory SSO however with the few websites we have built in the pilot phase we are using Drupal native accounts and are not linking to SSO. However this is under review and it may be that we require Drupal to support this going forward.
16. Are the required Drupal skills to be transfered to LCC staff for content editing/page building or for technical development requirements?
The transferable skills are around the technical development requirements.
17. What external systems does LCC integrate with to provide council services? eg. Taking payments, eforms, booking systems.
We develop transactional eforms in house. Currently .NET in Azure (https://services.leeds.gov.uk), but moving to AWS Amplify and React.js.

Our corporate payment system is Civica Pay, but we have used other web payment engines by exception.

If integrations are required into back office systems then we would interface via API Management rather than direct.

We don't have a corporate booking system at present.
18. Are any of the “small number of websites in Drupal 9” published live, can you provide any URLs of them?
URLs for two of the sites are:
- https://www.inclusivegrowthleeds.com/
- https://www.leedsscp.org.uk/
19. Will the new Drupal based Design System be completed in-house before the August start date for this project?
Yes it will.
20. If the supplier is to “deliver a large number of the required redeveloped websites” do you have a number in mind that need to be delivered within the budget range specified?
The number is not definitive because of the initial phase of exploratory work required.
21. Can you provide a full list of the sites in scope for review before submission deadline?
22. What is your interpretation of the capped time & materials pricing model?
Our interpretation is capped time and materials is reflective of the capped budget we have for this work in conjunction with the timeframe of the successful organisation working with us as specified in the framework.
23. Whose software platform will the project workstreams be managed on? Can we provide our Jira based system?
We are using Atlassian JIRA and this would be our preference going forward.
24. What corporate responsibility do you hold to your suppliers for asking them to deliver using a methodology that is designed to be flexible despite keeping a fixed budget?
As we are a local authority, it is our fiduciary duty to use public money responsibly and therefore deliver against budgets that are available to us.
25. According to our understanding, the delivery model is T&M. Would it be possible to propose a multidisciplinary Squad, which will be billed like TM model, but that we can allocate profiles with management skills to support the proposed developers? This way, we could allocate the profiles according to the scope to be developed in each sprint.
We would not disagree with this approach, but is dependant upon conversations with the successful supplier.
26. According to migration, how many websites are included within this budget?
What is the expected timeline to first launch?
Are you considering content migrations in a linear way or if you’ll need content editing and optimization?
What volume of data/type of content are you considering?
For this work, part of exploratory work will be identifying sites that are “lift and shift” and sites that are “move and improve”.
We have 130+ external sites, plus an intranet redevelopment.
We would expect a first launch in 8-10 weeks.
Content migration will be Service Area responsibility and the supplier to support with optimisation in identified cases.
Content is mostly blogging/longform content.
27. What governance framework is being used? Agile is referenced however the bid requires a Scrum master so we are keen to understand what Agile framework the scrum master needs follow to ensure skills match.
We are currently using a hybrid model. Due to the size of the organisation, we are utilising agile methods supplemented by some scrum methods.
28. Is the Scrum master role purpose to augment the existing team or to run the agile process for the onboarding team?
To run the process for the onboarding team.
29. Who do you anticipate will own the Agile Framework?
Co-ownership between the scrum master and the Project Managers.
30. Are the scrum teams to be a mix of supplier resources and the existing team members?
Yes it will be a mix.
31. Is a supplier provided progress summary report required?
Most of the required summary data should be captured through JIRA and retrospectives, however there may be the need for progress summaries.
32. What is the envisioned segregation of direction of the contract workers?
Due to range of skills being requested, it is expected contract workers would be “flexed” across workstreams depending on their skillset and available resource time.
33. How has the budget range been calculated and what specific deliverables comprise the definition of done?
i.e. what is your desired end state for the end of the first stage of work this contract is for?
It is intended that the work would comprise of workstreams that would deliver a redevelopment of the intranet, a lift and shift of Leeds.gov.uk and a portion of the standalone website work (in the order of around 30 websites) but discussions with the successful supplier would be expected to confirm/refine these expectations.
34. Projects of this scale require strong governance. Please describe the meetings and reporting mechanisms you expect our agency to participate in or contribute to so that we can estimate time allocation for these significant non-development related tasks.
The expectation will be for daily stand-ups, no longer than 30 minutes, sprint planning and retrospectives (1 – 1.5 hours every 2 weeks) with some ad hoc meeting requirements based on project needs.
Reporting will predominantly be drawn down from JIRA.
35. Do you anticipate a majority of meetings to be held face to face or via remote means?
The majority of meetings will take place via remote technology, mainly Microsoft Teams. Any face-to-face meetings would be booked in advance for a dedicated purpose.
36. The new Design System, what technology is this based upon? Is it Storybook, PatternLab or other, please state.
Design system is currently not based on any technology but this can be revisited.
37. What systems integrations exist or will be required for the new platform?
If integrations are required into back office systems then we would interface via API Management rather than direct, but the majority of the websites are stand alone.
38. Please provide more details about the Pilot. Is it based on an existing framework that you have extended or is it a novel solution?
No existing framework has been used / adapted.
39. Do you have any existing research that will feed into the project?
There are some papers about the current state of the web estate, technical information and lessons learned from delivered websites.
40. Will the project require GDS assessment?
While this would be the ideal, we believe this is unlikely based on current experience.
41. Please detail any GDS, Accessibility, Security testing that will be undertaken as part of the project including when this is to happen.
WCAG 2.1/2.2 (AA) compliance along with audit and accessibility statement. We would expect website development to adhere to Cloud Security Principles and depending on data contained some websites may require penetration tests.
42. Do you have access to Business Analysts within your organisation who will be part of the project?

The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Friday 13 May 2022.