Market Report

The Local Government Supplier Handbook

The definitive guide to identify and win local government contracts in 2024/2025.

15 minutes


Combining procurement data from the Stotles platform with insights from local government experts, this handbook provides the definitive guide for suppliers looking to increase their contracts in the UK’s £70b local government public sector.

Within this handbook, you will find trends, analysis and resources created to help you:

  • Demystify the local government landscape: Understand the structure of local government and segment your view of potential opportunities.
  • Map where local funding flows: Easily identify authorities with funding ring-fenced for your services.
  • Anticipate upcoming opportunities: Understand key market trends and identify relevant opportunities to target.
  • Learn from leading experts: Leverage tips from local government suppliers to navigate critical market challenges and build lasting relationships in 2024.

Throughout this handbook, we spotlight England’s nine major regions to illustrate how you can leverage the Stotles platform to identify and win contracts in target geographies across the UK. We also highlight specific opportunities emerging for technology and construction suppliers, drawing on examples identified via the Stotles platform.

Section One

Demystify the local government landscape

With over 11,000 local councils in England, understanding how to focus your approach can be tricky for those beginning their local government sales journeys.

“Once you get through the initial hurdles, you fast become aware you are looking at an Aladdin’s cave of opportunities. The amount of bids that might be relevant to your organisation are phenomenal. The challenge is, what are you going to focus on?”
Dr Nick Owen FRSA MBE
The Mighty Creatives

In this section [GATE] ,we demonstrate how best-in class suppliers develop an effective approach to segmenting local authorities in this vast buying landscape. For experienced local government suppliers looking to identify regional spending patterns or funding flows, proceed to the next section.

Understand how local government is structured

At the heart of decision-making, England's local government comprises 317 local authorities made up of 5 different types: County councils, District Councils, Unitary Authority, London Boroughs, Metropolitan Boroughs. These authorities operate in either a Two-Tiered or Single Tiered system, visualised below.

Two-tiered systems, primarily outside major cities, separate strategic services like education and transportation (county councils) from local services such as housing and leisure (district councils). Single-tiered regions, including major cities, consolidate these responsibilities under one local authority, streamlining decision-making and procurement.

The local landscape is further diversified by Combined Authorities, which coordinate efforts across multiple areas for regional development, and Arms-Length Bodies (ALBs), which deliver specific services with a degree of independence.

How should suppliers approach different authority types?

In practice, responsibilities for procuring services are less clear cut and often overlap between authority types, complicating the decision-making landscape for suppliers.

For example, we can see “Adult Education” services in Cambridgeshire has been recently procured by three separate buyer types - Cambridgeshire City Council, Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority and Cambridgeshire County Council.

'In practice, the interplay between city, district, and county levels varies by region. Success hinges on identifying and engaging with the right decision-maker within each area.”
Dimal Luta
Heat of UK Public Sector and Government Relations

For this reason, it is crucial that suppliers seeking to work with local government authorities develop a strategic approach to tracking potential buying signals emerging from all authority types involved with your target regions.

Develop a regional view of potential opportunities

Leading suppliers segment their focus across this vast landscape by assigning specialised sales teams to win opportunities in specific target regions.

By focusing on a regional level, suppliers can capture all contract activity emerging from Local Authorities, Parish Councils, ALB’s and other purchasing organisations within their boundaries, and develop tailored outreach strategies to accomodate for their regions population needs.

“Our approach is localised, with regional offices leading the way in developing relationships in their geographies. In total, we have 13 offices across the UK. This distributed presence and local knowledge enables us to better develop meaningful relationships.”
Julian Henley
National Head of Public & Civic Sector
Rider Levett Bucknall

Stotles geo-filters help suppliers gain a clear oversight of potential opportunities within target geographies and easily identify potential hotspots to target. To demonstrate the possibilities available with Stotles, we have analysed reported local authority contracts awarded in England between 2019-2023.

Below we have visualised this data on a map of England, segmenting total reported contracts across the nation’s 9 major regions, to give you an indicator of geographical hotspots.

When this view of total awarded contracts is split by sector CPV code, initial market trends start to emerge, revealing key differences between England’s regions.

As visualised in the chart below:

  • Construction, Health and Social Work & Technology are revealed as the most popular CPV sectors procured across England.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber emerge as a leader in all of those three categories.
  • South West England and South East England follow Yorkshire and Humber’s lead as major hubs for IT & Software activity.
  • South East England, and London follow Yorkshire and Humber’s lead as major hubs for Construction activity.

This high level analysis only scratches the surface of what’s possible with Stotles. To help you understand how you can use custom views to surface hyper relevant opportunities across your target regions, below we demonstrate how an adult social care supplier could use Stotles views to gain a clear overview of activity emerging across England’s major regions.

Section Two

Map where local funding flows

Now that you understand how local government is structured and how to effectively segment your view of the market, this section of the report outlines key funding sources and budgets for 2024 so you can further qualify your focus onto the right business cases and regions.

Pinpoint key funding trends

Local Authorities in England have received a significant funding increase for 2024/2025, with the core spending power rising by £4.5 billion to a total of £64.7 billion. This represents a 7.5% increase before inflation, compared to the previous year. This includes central government allocating an increased £600m towards councils, with £500m of that earmarked for social care spending specifically.


Rise in core spending power


Increased budget for councils


Allocated to social care

While the service level allocation for this 2024/2025 financial settlement is pending confirmation, the 2023-24 Local Authority Revenue Expenditure and Financing Report provides high-level insights into where this funding flows across the local government landscape.

This expenditure allocation highlights education (32%), adult social care (30%), and police (13%) as the most significant service lines for local spending. For suppliers aiming to engage with local authorities, aligning with these priorities is essential.

For example, if you're in the technology sector, your solutions should not only aim to sell your product or service but also to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of the end service for which your technology is serving, ultimately benefiting the wider community.

“Suppliers need to be patient and adapt to the buyers' system and service goals. The constant reminder for technology companies is that you are supplying technology for humans. Remember who your end-user is."
Josh Meadows
Head of Commercial
Priority Digital Health

Identify funded opportunities to target

For suppliers, identifying which authorities this funding flows to is crucial to refine your focus and surface potential opportunities.

Below, we outline two strategies leading suppliers use to identify local authorities with ring-fenced funding for their niche service or solution.

1. Unlock insights from local government budget plans

At the start of each fiscal year, Local Authorities unveil their budget plans, laying out their spending roadmap. These documents are gold mines for suppliers, revealing where funds are allocated and what projects are on the horizon.

To streamline your research, we've created a local government budget book tracker. This free tool, previewed below, grants you instant access to the most recently published budget book for any local authority, saving you valuable time and providing clarity on where to focus your efforts.

County CouncilsBudget Book Access Link
Cambridgeshire County CouncilView 2023/2024 budget
Derbyshire County CouncilView 2023/2024 budget
Devon County CouncilView 2023/2024 budget
Essex County CouncilView 2023/2024 budget
Gloucestershire County CouncilView 2023/2024 budget

2. Track annual allocations of government grants

Government grants are a significant source of funding for local authorities, supporting over half of their total spending. For suppliers, understanding which grants have been allocated where can lead you to local authorities with funds specifically allocated for the service you provide.

Stotles Tip

You can get started by utilising the government's 'Find a grant' service to discover which grants are available, and which have been recently allocated to local authorities.

Find a grant

Navigate market challenges in 2024

While the overall funding allocation for 2024/2025 represents an increase on 2023 expenditure, the Local Government Association have issued a note of caution, urging central government to consider further support:

“The settlement does not provide enough funding to meet the severe cost and demand pressures which have left councils of all political colours and types warning of the serious challenges they face to set balanced budgets next year.”
Local Government Association, 07.02.2024

With large authorities like Birmingham City Council and Nottingham City Council issuing Section 114 notices in 2023, we spoke to successful suppliers to understand how they are prospering in this difficult environment.

Josh Meadows, Head of Commercial at Priority Digital Health, provides a practical view, encouraging suppliers to remain proactive and focus on the buyers who do have funding and intent for your solution:

“Funding is out of our control. It’s on us to make sure our process and systems are efficient to not create more costs on top of that. It’s across the board, everywhere is having challenges"
Josh Meadows, Head of Commercial at Priority Digital Health

Dr. Nick Owen, CEO at The Mighty Creatives, adds a further voice of pragmatism for suppliers navigating this buying landscape, urging suppliers to continue to proactively identify opportunities.

“The funding picture is never ever ‘great”. We’re always “in crisis” when it comes to the public sector. It’s not about the money, there are always going to be opportunities for suppliers who act proactively”.
Dr. Nick Owen, CEO at The Mighty Creatives

In line with these recommendations, in the next section, we provide you with concrete strategies leading suppliers are using to get ahead of the competition and win contracts in 2024.

Section Three

Anticipate upcoming opportunities

Having covered the structure and funding of local government, this section uses Stotles data to illustrate actionable strategies suppliers can use to identify concrete future opportunities in 2024/2025.

Identified as two of the areas with highest CPV code activity across local government, this section spotlights data for technology and construction industries specifically. Importantly, Stotles users can replicate the insights below for any industry or service, outside of technology and construction.

For technology suppliers

As a starting point in local government sales, most technology companies monitor open opportunities and apply to key frameworks to gain access into public sector markets.

However, waiting for open opportunities is statistically proven to lower your chances of winning a bid. The best in class technology suppliers proactively pursue upcoming opportunities and build partnerships with incumbent suppliers to get ahead of the competition.

Identify future opportunities with expiring contracts

Using the Stotles platform, we’ve identified over £635m in Local Authority contracts set to expire in the 24/25 fiscal year (April-March) period, classified with IT & Software CPV Codes. Proactive suppliers use these contracts to forecast future renewals and downstream contracts to target.

“Expiring contracts allow us to forecast what we expect to emerge from a particular buyer, or service.  Our leadership understand these aren't guaranteed bids. It’s about forecasting what could be available and focusing on that.”
Josh Meadows, Head of Commercial at Priority Digital Health

To help you pinpoint which areas of the landscape these lucrative opportunities are emerging from, we’ve used Stotles Geo-Filters to map 2024/2025 technology expiries by region.

Visualised in the map below, we can identify that the North West England region represents the largest geographical opportunity for suppliers, with £142m local authority IT contracts set to expire within the next financial year.

Spotlight on North West England

To demonstrate the level of granularity possible with Stotles, we dive deeper into the North West of England to identify the top buyers, suppliers and contracts involved with this emerging hotspot.

Top buyers to target:

£142m in contract expiry value is emerging over 120 contracts, issued across 33 separate authorities, with the most active buyers including: Cheshire East Council, Lancashire County Council, Manchester City Council & Liverpool City Council.

Top expiring contracts:

The most lucrative expiring contracts in this region range from ERP solutions, to Microsoft licences, with many technology suppliers standing to benefit from the potential opportunities. Click through any of the contracts listed below to evaluate the potential opportunity and identify important decision makers to engage with.

BuyerContract TitleValueCurrent SupplierExpiry Date
Cheshire East CouncilCheshire Councils ERP Project£50mAgilisys Ltd2024-09-21
Cheshire East CouncilCheshire Next Generation WAN£25mUpdata Infrastructure (UK) Ltd2025-03-31
Lancashire County CouncilProvision of software solutions£7.5mPhoenix Software Ltd2025-03-31
Manchester City CouncilTC718 - Microsoft Licences£6.23mTrustmarque Solutions Ltd2025-03-31
Manchester City CouncilAgile Workplace Transformation£3.4mPhoenix Software2024-07-29

Establish partnerships with leading technology suppliers

Another route to market for technology suppliers is to partner with organisations who are already embedded within your target accounts.

Partnering with incumbent suppliers can help you access new market opportunities, especially for suppliers seeking entry into new regions. These partnerships can unlock connections to key decision makers and serve as a strong foundation for establishing relationships and pre-engaging over upcoming business cases.

To illustrate how Stotles can help you identify potential partners in each region, the chart below reveals the number of contracts awarded to the UK’s leading Value Adding Resellers (VARs) across England’s 5 most active regions, based on data from the 2019-2023 calendar years.

In this analysis, it's evident that Softcat leads in the total number of contracts secured. However, in the North West region specifically, Bytes Software outperforms all competitors, securing twice as many contracts in the area. This trend suggests that for suppliers aiming to engage with new authorities in the North West, partnering with Bytes Software could offer a strategic advantage.

This is just one demonstrative example of how you can identify partnerships in the public sector. To set up your business signals and identify opportunities for your business, get started with Stotles for free.

For construction suppliers

For suppliers operating in the Built Environment, including developers, construction consultancy and architectural work, frameworks and partnerships typically represent the most successful routes to market, especially when working with new authorities.

To help suppliers in these industries anticipate potential opportunities, this section highlights illustrative examples of upcoming regional frameworks and partners to target.

Target upcoming frameworks

Securing positions within a variety of frameworks issued by local authorities or purchasing organisations is a strategic move for suppliers looking to access a broad range of opportunities and make inroads into new regions.

“Aligning our growth strategy to a wide range of Framework Agreements, allows our clients to procure our services using commercial routes they have had success with before, making us easy to do business with.”
Julian Henley
National Head of Public & Civic Sector
Rider Levett Bucknall

As Julian highlights, authorities can perfer tried and tested frameworks they have seen previous success with. This emphasises the strategic importance of being part of various frameworks to tap into opportunities in new regions.

The ability to systematically monitor and apply for relevant frameworks as they emerge is therefore crucial. Highlighting the potential within this strategy, we present a selection of local authority frameworks that have been published since the beginning of 2024 below.

BuyerTitleValuePre Tender Publish Date
Hampshire County Council (In collaboration with Devon County Council)Southern Construction Framework Consult 2£100,000,0002024-01-09
Moray CouncilCivil Engineering Small Works 1£580,0002024-01-23
Dover District CouncilResponsive Maintenance & Void Contract1£22,500,0002024-02-05
London Borough of BrentContracts for Responsive, Void and Planned Maintenance£25m2024-01-25
Bath and North East Somerset CouncilArchitectural Services Framework£4,500,0002023-12-21

With the Stotles frameworks feature, you can easily identify all relevant frameworks for your business and dive deep into the buyers, suppliers & call off contracts involved. To get started, sign up for free here.

Identify potential partnerships

Another route to market for construction suppliers is to partner with mutually aligned partners and combine together to form a stronger bid. Julian Henley provides a practical example of how you can use partnerships to access more framework opportunities.

“Partnerships are most successful when there are benefits to both companies. We specialise in programme and project delivery, and may partner with a company who specialise in design work. By partnering we can provide buyers with the multidisciplinary solutions they need for their projects.”
Julian Henley
National Head of Public &Civic Sector
Rider Levett Bucknall

To illustrate how you could use procurement data to identify potential partners in your target regions, the following chart ranks the UK’s leading public sector construction contractors by the amount of reported awards they have won with local authorities between 2019-2023.

In this dataset, while Wates have more contracts than any other supplier, we can see they have only won 2 reported contracts in the South West of England region over this 5 year period. Therefore, for suppliers looking to work in this region, Morgan Sindall may represent a more relevant partnership with 14 total contracts in the region.

This is just one demonstrative example of how you can identify partnerships in the public sector. To identify partnership opportunities for your business, get started with Stotles for free.

Section Four

Learn from leading experts

So far in this report, we have used Stotles procurement data to highlight how and where suppliers can succeed in the local government landscape. In this section, we turn to the practical advice from local government suppliers on their expert insights to winning contracts with local government buyers.

1. Develop a systematic approach to track local contracts

“Stotles was a really easy way for me to see what’s been awarded in the public domain, what contracts are out for tender now, and what’s coming up in the future.”
Josh Meadows
Head of Commercial
Priority Digital Health

Josh Meadows is the Head of Commercial at Priority Digital Health (PDH). PDH provide digital health solutions which support better self-management of people's health and wellbeing. Working with local authorities across Buckinghamshire, Leicestershire, Southend and Essex, Josh brings a wealth of experience when it comes to winning contracts and maintaining successful relationships in local government.

When Josh joined PDH in 2022, he wanted a platform to centralise his team’s view across local government contracts, and signed PDH up to a Stotles Growth licence. Since then, Josh has used Stotles in his weekly workflow to monitor both open and expiring contracts.

He explains that their view of expiring contracts help them understand future addressable opportunities in the market and help the team to align over future potential bids:

“Expiring contracts allow us to forecast what we expect to emerge from a particular buyer or service.”

On the other hand, the team’s oversight of open contracts allows the organisation to be agile and orient their focus on any highly relevant opportunities they may not have previously anticipated coming to market. For these contracts, Josh offers key advice for suppliers:

"As soon as you see an opportunity, get all the info you can. In an SME, where people wear many hats, getting hold of the documents is key so you can forecast the internal time resource for the opportunity"

Nowadays, Priority Digital Health is focused on using Stotles to scale their work across local governments. You can read more about the impact of their work here.

2. Focus on the right bids for your business

Dr Nick Owen FRSA MBE is the CEO of The Mighty Creatives, an SME Social Enterprise who empower the most unheard of young people in society to find their sense of self, purpose and belonging through creative experiences. With decades of experience working in creative industries and successfully securing funding from local government, Nick is currently focused on Creative Mentoring and Mighty Employers services across local government.

The primary message Nick urges to local government suppliers is one of focus:

“Be prepared to say no to a lot of opportunities, and focus on bids which align with your mission and vision.”
Dr Nick Owen FRSA MBE
The Mighty Creatives

For each potential opportunity, Nick recommends suppliers ask themselves key qualifying questions to ensure they can successfully deliver the bid:

“How much value will this bid bring to our organisation? How much capacity do we have to deliver what we bid for? Does it truly fit with our mission and vision or will it encourage mission drift?”

Nick found success by concentrating on a single service line, Creative Mentoring, within his local authority strategy. This approach allowed his team to align their focus on buyers showing early interest in this specific service. Having established success in Creative Mentoring, Mighty Creatives is now expanding their local authority presence to other service lines, including their Mighty Employers offering.

Since partnering with Stotles in August 2023, Mighty Creatives has collaborated with their designated Customer Success Manager to pinpoint and qualify relevant opportunities. They utilise strategic documents to qualify buyers with signals of interest in their Mighty Employment Service Line. 

To read more about the impact Mighty Creatives are making in the public sector, visit their website here.

3. Build trust and adapt to local authorities

Dimal Luta is the Head of UK Public Sector and Government Relations at Airly. Airly is the leading cost-effective SaaS (sensing-as-a-service) solution for hyperlocal air quality monitoring and control. Their comprehensive platform helps governments and businesses take bold action to reduce emissions and protect public health. Dimal joined Airly in June 2021, with a previous history working in the public sector for Zipcar.

When introducing Airly’s innovative “sensing-as-a-service” solution to local buyers, one of the initial challenges Dimal faced was educating local government stakeholders, and building trust in an innovative product, which decision makers were not initially familiar with.

“Local authorities are not just going to spend public money on any solution because you have a good sales pitch, and that’s a good thing.”
Dimal Luta
Head of UK Public Sector and Government Relations

Suppliers shouldn't expect to win contracts after just three months without prior recognition, Dimal explained. For Airly, running free trials with buyers was a successful tactic to prove the reliability of their new platform and establish brand awareness before the bidding opportunity.

“Initially, the only way we were able to validate our new product was to push for free trials to get our product in and prove its value.”

While this approach requires a long term, patient process, Airly are now reaping the benefits of this approach. Thanks to the success of these trials, Airly now has case studies across local government buyers, making it easier for them to prove their value and expand their presence across the UK’s local authorities.

To read more about the work Airly are doing in the public sector, visit their website here.

4. Provide social value and improve public outcomes

Julian Henley, National Head of Public & Civic Sector at Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), shares valuable strategies for suppliers aiming to win local government contracts by enhancing social value and sustainability efforts.

Drawing from Rider Levett Bucknall’s expertise in programme and project delivery, sustainability and social value consultancy, Julian's advice is particularly relevant for suppliers operating in the built environment, looking to align with government expectations for net zero, sustainability, and CSR requirements.

Defining social value

The journey to impactful social value begins with understanding and aligning your expectations for success with the unique requirements of each local authority.

"Defining social value requires a continuous, iterative process working closely with the local communities you are serving."
Julian Henley
National Head of Public & Civic Sector
Rider Levett Bucknall

By aligning on what good looks like, suppliers set a strong foundation to demonstrate tangible social performance improvements later down the road.

Embedding Social Value through Procurement

Social requirements outlined in the bidding process is more than a checkbox exercise; it's your chance to show your deep understanding of the authority’s environmental maturity.

“Suppliers should first understand the buyer's social and environmental targets, including their net zero timelines and strategies. This insight allows you to align your bids with the buyer's environmental maturity and journey”

By outlining concrete metrics, targets and KPIs that are tailored to the authority you work with, your bids will not only comply with requirements but stand out above the competition.

Enhancing ESG performance

Achieving a meaningful impact on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) outcomes is crucial for suppliers looking to become leaders in the local government marketplace. Julian underscores the importance of genuine, actionable strategies over theoretical plans:

“We’re passionate about the idea that suppliers should walk the walk. Don’t set lofty strategic suggestions that aren’t realistic in practice. Use your learnings, implement policies, and measure the impact.”

This proactive stance ensures you meet the changing needs and expectations of authorities, establishing your position as a leader in sustainability and social responsibility.

More on Rider Levett Bucknall

Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) utilises Stotles to effectively monitor UK-wide opportunities, enhancing their ability to identify and win sustainable and socially impactful projects. Discover more about how they support Local Authority clients to create future ready, optimised estates through a "Smarter Greener Better approach" here.

Section Five

Take the next steps with Stotles

In this report, we have demonstrated best practices for suppliers looking to break down the local government landscape, track, identify and ultimately win lucrative local government contracts. Stotles is your essential companion in this journey.

To gain complete oversight over relevant local contracts, track partners and competitors, engage decision makers and put your outreach process on auto-pilot, get started with Stotles today.

Become a preferred pub-sec supplier today