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ESPO Frameworks 2024 Update: What’s Changed?

Written by Thornton & Lowe


Apr 16, 2024

Overview of the ESPO Frameworks

The ESPO Frameworks are a set of pre-approved agreements that allow UK educational institutions to procure goods and services from a list of trusted suppliers. These frameworks cover a wide range of categories, including IT, professional services, facilities management, and more. By participating in the ESPO Frameworks, suppliers like you gain access to a large pool of potential buyers, including local authorities, NHS trusts, and educational institutions.

The ESPO Frameworks are designed to simplify the procurement process for both buyers and suppliers. Buyers can be confident that the suppliers listed in the frameworks have undergone a rigorous selection process, ensuring their reliability and quality. Suppliers, on the other hand, can save time and resources by bypassing lengthy tender processes and directly bidding on opportunities within the framework.

Key changes in the ESPO Frameworks 2024 Update

The ESPO frameworks 2024 update brings several important changes that suppliers need to be aware of. One of the key changes is the expansion of the framework categories to cover emerging sectors and technologies. This update reflects the evolving needs of the public sector and provides suppliers with new and exciting opportunities to showcase their expertise.

Another significant change is the increased focus on sustainability and social value. The update introduces new criteria that suppliers must meet to demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility and social impact. This change aligns with the government's push for more sustainable procurement practices and provides suppliers with a competitive advantage in the bidding process.

The update also includes improvements to the evaluation and selection process. Suppliers can expect a more transparent and streamlined process, with clearer guidelines on how bids will be assessed. This ensures a fair and objective evaluation, giving all suppliers an equal chance to secure contracts.

A selection of the key frameworks available to tender through the 2024 update are below:



Library Hardware Solutions

ESPO’s new framework offers customers a quick, simple, and competitive route to procure library RFID solutions and self-service technology. This framework also includes integration, training, and associated support services, providing comprehensive solutions for libraries

Food Waste Funding

Addressing the growing concern of food waste, ESPO has introduced a framework to help English local authorities in their efforts to collect separate food waste weekly from all properties. Suppliers can bid for their share of ESPO’s £295M capital funding for food waste collection vehicles

Consultancy for Decarbonisation/
Net Zero Strategies

As organisations strive to reduce their carbon emissions, ESPO's new framework provides access to a range of consultants in the low-carbon energy sector

Ready Meals and Smart Solutions

Recognising the need for convenient meal solutions in various settings, including schools, healthcare facilities, and more, ESPO’s new framework for ready meals offers a simple and competitive route for procuring single-portion and multi-portion frozen ready meals. This includes requirements for diverse meal options, catering to specific dietary requirements and meeting International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation

ESPO's Reference Guide for 2024

To assist organisations in navigating their extensive range of frameworks, ESPO provides a comprehensive Reference Guide. Updated for January 2024, this guide features around 100 active frameworks across ten colour-coded categories, ensuring easy access to the most relevant sections for each organisation.

Emphasising their commitment to making procurement as simple as possible for customers, each framework page in the guide provides detailed information and a dedicated contact to support organisations throughout the procurement process.

Categories and Support

ESPO's frameworks cover a wide range of categories to fulfil diverse procurement needs. Let's explore the categories covered in their Reference Guide and the support available to customers.




ESPO's Building category offers a range of frameworks related to construction, maintenance, and refurbishment projects. From architectural services to building materials procurement, ESPO provides solutions to support organisations in their building-related endeavours


Focusing on sustainability, ESPO's Energy category includes frameworks dedicated to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction. By accessing these frameworks, organisations can make environmentally conscious choices and reduce their carbon footprint

Health & Social Care

In the Health & Social Care category, ESPO offers frameworks tailored to the specific needs of healthcare providers and social care organisations. These frameworks cover a wide range of products and services, ensuring that organisations can procure essential resources efficiently

Sports & Leisure

ESPO understands the importance of sports and leisure facilities in promoting well-being and recreation. Their Sports & Leisure category includes frameworks for procuring equipment, maintenance services, and other resources necessary for the smooth operation of sports and leisure facilities

Documents & IT

The Documents & IT category encompasses frameworks related to document management, printing services, and IT solutions. By utilising these frameworks, organisations can ensure efficient document handling and access cutting-edge IT solutions tailored to their needs

Fleet & Highways

ESPO's Fleet & Highways category offers frameworks for vehicle procurement, fleet management, and highway maintenance. These frameworks enable organisations to efficiently manage their vehicle fleets and ensure safe and well-maintained highways

Food & Catering

Catering to the needs of schools, healthcare facilities, and other organisations, ESPO's Food & Catering category provides frameworks for procuring catering supplies, food products, and catering services. These frameworks ensure that organisations can offer high-quality meals to their service users


ESPO's Libraries category includes frameworks for library supplies, equipment, and technology solutions. These frameworks support libraries in delivering exceptional services to their service users

People Professional Services

The People Professional Services category focuses on frameworks related to recruitment, HR services, training, and consultancy. ESPO recognises the importance of skilled professionals and offers solutions to support organisations in managing their workforce effectively

Waste & Environment

In line with the UK government’s environmental sustainability goals, ESPO's Waste & Environment category includes frameworks for waste management, recycling, and environmental consulting services. These frameworks enable organisations to adopt sustainable waste management practices and reduce their environmental impact

Benefits of bidding ESPO Frameworks

Bidding on tenders within the ESPO Frameworks offers several benefits for suppliers. Firstly, it provides access to a large and diverse customer base. The frameworks cover a wide range of sectors and industries, meaning suppliers can target multiple potential buyers through a single framework. This saves time and resources that would otherwise be spent on identifying and approaching individual buyers.

Secondly, the ESPO Frameworks simplify the procurement process. Suppliers can bypass time-consuming and costly tender processes by bidding directly on opportunities within the framework. This allows for a more efficient and streamlined approach to securing contracts, reducing the administrative burden on suppliers.

Furthermore, participating in the ESPO Frameworks enhances a supplier's credibility and reputation. By being listed as an approved supplier in the frameworks, businesses gain a level of trust and recognition from buyers. This can significantly increase their chances of winning contracts and expanding their client base.

Exploring the ESPO tender opportunities

The ESPO Frameworks offer a wide range of tender opportunities for businesses across many sectors. Whether you are in healthcare, IT, or construction, there are numerous contracts available within the frameworks. To explore these opportunities, suppliers should regularly monitor the ESPO website and stay informed about the latest updates and tender releases.

When exploring tender opportunities within the ESPO Frameworks, it is essential to thoroughly review the tender documentation and understand the buyer's requirements. This will allow suppliers to tailor their bids to meet the buyer's specific needs and increase their chances of success.

It is also worth considering partnering with a professional tender writing service, such as Thornton & Lowe, to maximise your chances of winning contracts within the ESPO Frameworks. Our Writers have the expertise and experience to craft compelling and competitive bids that stand out from your competition. By leveraging our knowledge of the ESPO Frameworks and the procurement process, suppliers like you can significantly increase your chances of securing public sector contracts.

How Thornton & Lowe can maximise your ESPO benefits

Maximising your benefits within the ESPO Frameworks requires a strategic and tailored approach to tender writing. We specialise in helping businesses secure contracts within the ESPO Frameworks. Our team of Bid Writers understand the intricacies of the procurement process and can create compelling bids that meet the specific requirements of buyers.

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