Skip to content

How we help SMEs

We are committed to helping small and medium businesses be part of the NTU procurement service.

NTU Sport extend their partnership with Kukri Sports
Kukri, an SME, has supplied NTU with bespoke sports kits for over 9 years

We work with a number of SMEs and place a high value on the role that they play.

By December 2020, one-third of our procurement spend will be with SMEs, and 50% will be from the East Midlands region. To help achieve this, we have put in place a number of frameworks that support SMEs and makes procurement at NTU more accessible.

To get you started, we have put together this guidance document for SMEs to help with the tender process.

Helping SMEs through SCoRE

SCoRE is our strategic framework that runs through everything we do in procurement and supply chain management. It stands for Sustainability, Commercial Effectiveness, Research and Employability.

How SCoRE helps your SME

Creating opportunities
A third of our procurement spend will be with SMEs by December 2020.

Being a fair partner
There will be no PQQ stage for contracts below public procurement thresholds, making the process and invoicing more simple. We are also improving accessibility.

Communicating more effectively
We will improve engagement and gather feedback, making it easier for SME suppliers to deal with NTU.

Supporting the local economy
By December 2020, 50% of suppliers will be from the East Midlands, and 30% from the Nottingham area.

Helping SMEs with Public Procurement Regulations

We are governed by Public Procurement Regulations (2015), often referred to as 'EU regs', which can make supply opportunities out of reach for many SMEs.

Current thresholds are:

  • Supply, services and design contracts: £189,330 (ex-VAT)
  • Works contracts: £4,733,252 (ex-VAT)
  • Social and other specific services: £663,540 (ex-VAT)

We make procurement more accessible to SMEs in a number of ways. We:

  • break requirements into smaller packages
  • segment requirements eg general vs specialist needs
  • use regional suppliers where possible
  • make upcoming opportunities easily accessible by publishing them on our Contracts Finder.

Helping SMEs through collaborative procurement

We are members of the North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) and use several other university consortiums, government schemes and frameworks.


North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium Ltd (NEUPC) is one of six UK Higher Education purchasing consortia established to deliver and manage a wide range of collaborative framework agreements.

Purchasing Consortia provide collaborative procurement expertise, guidance and agreements that are aligned to, and actively support, members’ needs, values and objectives.

As a non-profit-making operation owned by member universities, our sole motivation is to maximise institutions resources and that of the wider public sector.

Where possible, we encourage SME bidding through:

  • regionalisation
  • breakdown of requirements (by specialism or size)
  • integration of SMEs in the supply chain
  • potential new markets and profile visibility
  • increased communication and consultation with SMEs.

It is important to note that no framework is awarded on price alone.

Still need help?

Procurement Team
+44 (0)115 848 4300