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How we help SMEs

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

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

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

Helping SMEs with Public Procurement Regulations

From 23:00 on 31 December 2020, NTU will publish information on public sector contract opportunities in the UK on the new Find a Tender Service (FTS).

FTS is free to use and replaces the role of Tenders Electronic Daily, the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU/TED) for procurements in the UK.

FTS will work alongside existing procurement portals such as Contracts Finder.

Access public sector contract opportunities in the EU

If you wish to access public sector contract opportunities in the EU, you may continue to do so through OJEU/TED. Information about procurements launched by UK contracting authorities before 23:00 on 31 December 2020 are available via OJEU/TED or the existing portals mentioned above.

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: £181,302 (ex-VAT)
  • Works contracts: £4,551,413 (ex-VAT)
  • Social and other specific services: £615,278 (ex-VAT)

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

  • break requirements into smaller packages
  • segment requirements e.g. general vs specialist needs
  • use regional suppliers where possible
  • make upcoming opportunities easily accessible by publishing them on our Contracts Finder / Find a Tender Service (FTS).

Helping SMEs through collaborative procurement


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.

More information about procurement at NTU