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NWUPC Bid Writing for Frameworks


Written by Chris Turner


Jan 27, 2023

NWUPC North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium) is owned by 24 universities in the North West of England. They manage a wealth of tenders, frameworks and mini competitions for these Universities. If you are a North West based or national supplier to the education sector this is key stakeholder in the industry.

As professional bid writers, with our HQ and bid writing team, based in Bolton, we regularly produce winning tender results for our clients via NWUPC opportunities.

Client feedback

"This is a huge thank you e-mail! After waiting many months for the XXX University tender we have just received notice to say we have been awarded the contract. we simply could not have achieved this success without the great template you provided us with. Every tender we have gone for so far we have won! 3 tenders in all, across 3 Universities. We are over the moon! Thanks again for such an amazing team and the work you put into the template" - Tracy Hutchison, Director, Elite Entrance Systems

We specialise in bid writing and bid management services for SMEs and this article is to share some of the benefits of NWUPC frameworks and why it has proven so successful for our clients. To understand what a ‘framework’ is click this link to see our detailed overview.

NWUPC Framework Overview

NWUPC develops approved frameworks or an approved list of suppliers for their University members to use. Via their agreements, they want to help Universities across the North West achieve value for money for the goods and services which they procure.

In their last published financial report (2021) they had £142m spend through their frameworks and produced £10.2m cashable savings for their members.

They have 26 framework agreements split across:

  • Audio Visual Frameworks
  • Catering Frameworks
  • Computing Frameworks
  • Domestics Frameworks
  • Estates Frameworks
  • Furniture Frameworks
  • Laboratories Frameworks
  • Library Frameworks
  • Office Solutions Frameworks
  • Professional Services Frameworks
  • Telecommunication Frameworks
  • Travel Frameworks

What is good to hear, from a supplier’s perspective, is that despite having 24 Universities as members and owners of NWUPC, plus additional users, within the 2022 – 2025 strategy they are still committed to increasing spend through their frameworks.

NWUPC Frameworks – 76% of Winning Bidders are SMEs

With a focus on social value NWUPC are committed to establishing more ways to engage SMEs. However, they are already doing a great job with 76% of the supply chain currently being SMEs and 20% of these being micro businesses.

They are going to be reporting more on SME and micro organisations' involvement in their frameworks and will be providing additional guidance to suppliers, including that on Social Value TOMS requirements. View our detailed and practical guide to Social Value here.

It is important to note that 92% of suppliers are Netpositive registered – so this is an accreditation you need to be looking at in preparation for these bids.

As this is a regional framework provider, it does mean it is by design more accessible for many regional contractors, suppliers and service providers. If you can deliver some of the products and services below across the North West, NWUPC could be a great opportunity for you.

List of the upcoming NWUPC frameworks planned across 2023:

NWUPC Audio Visual Frameworks


Audiovisual equipment and installation services

Broadcasting equipment and integration services

Photographic equipment and consumables

NWUPC Catering Frameworks



Butchered meat and poultry

Catering innovation and concept solution (CICS)

Convenience retail products and services

Disposables and kitchen chemicals

Food waste management

Fresh fish and seafood

Fresh fruit and vegetables and related products

Grocery, frozen and chilled

Hot beverage

Kitchen equipment maintenance, deep cleaning and ventilation ducting services (DPS – continually open to new suppliers throughout the duration of the agreement)

Milk, dairy, bread and morning goods

Sandwiches and associated products

Soft drinks and associated products

Temporary and permanent catering staff

Vegan and vegetarian specialist foods


NWUPC Estates & Facilities Management Frameworks


Air Filters, Associated Products and Services

Building Cleaning

Building Materials, Tools and Hardware Supplies

Catering Light & Heavy Equipment

CCTV Systems and Equipment

Cleaning and Janitorial Supplies - NWUPC

Cleaning Equipment - Supply and Maintenance

Cleaning Services

Courier Services

Customs Agent Solutions

Design & Installation for the Customer Experience (Catering & Social Spaces)

Doors Maintenance, Repair and Installation Services

Drinking Water Dispensers (Supply and Distribution) and Related Services

Electrical Materials and Associated Products and Services

Electrical Vehicle Charging Point - CPC

Fire Alarms, Detection & Suppression Systems

Firefighting Equipment and Associated Services

Fixed Wire Testing (FWT)

Franking Machines & Consumables

Gas Equipment Maintenance & Repair Services

Grounds Maintenance Services

Lift Installation, Maintenance and Consultancy

Mail Services

Mechanical, Electrical and Building Fabric Maintenance Services

Paint & Decorating Supplies

Plumbing, Sanitary and Heating Equipment, Supplies and Associated Services

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Recycling Bins & Street Furniture

Roofing & Roof Maintenance Services

Security Services

Signs & Signage – HE (HESAS)

Sports, Fitness & Gym Equipment

Synthetic Sports Facilities

Temporary Structures (DPS)

Washroom Services including Period Dignity Solutions

Waste Management Services (Sustainable)

Water Quality Management (Including Legionella) (EFM1044 AP)

Window Cleaning Services

NWUPC Furniture & Furnishing Frameworks


Floor Coverings


Removals and Relocations Services

Residential Textiles, Student Starter Packs and Window Coverings

Sustainable Furniture Solutions

White Goods and Associated Electrical Appliances

NWUPC ICT & Telecoms Frameworks


Apple Equipment, Accessories and Associated Services

CCS Network Services 2

Data Centre Management equipment and Infrastructure framework (2019)

Delivery App

Desktops and Notebooks (NDNA)

eMarketplace to Facilitate Tailend Spend

EPOS Hardware and Software Systems CAT11054-TU

eProcurement System

IT Equipment Reuse Recycling and Disposal

IT Related Accessories and Parts (ITRAP) 2020

Mobile Phones - Ethically Sourced

Network Equipment, Jisc

Online Streaming and Training Services (ITS1035AP)

Printers and Managed Print Services (Nepa2)

Research Outputs Repository Systems, Jisc

Shared Datacentre, Jisc

Short Message Service (SMS) txt, Jisc

Similarity Detection Systems and Associated Services

Software Licence Resellers (SLRA)

Student Accommodation, Conference/Event, Delivered Catering & Hotel Management System(s) & Associated Services

Student Module Evaluation Systems and Associated Services, ITS 1038 AP

Telephony Purchasing Services, Jisc

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Systems and Associated Services

Vulnerability Assessment Service and Tools Supply, Jisc

NWUPC Library Frameworks


Books, e-books, e-textbooks, and associated services

Library Management Systems and Associated Services

Serials, Periodicals and Associated Services Joint Consortia Agreement

NWUPC Office Supplies & Equipment Frameworks


Art and Craft Materials

Multifunctional Devices and Digital Transformation Solutions

Office, Computer & Library Supplies

Paper – Print and Specialist

Promotional Merchandise

NWUPC Professional Services Frameworks


Debt Recovery Services

Education Recruitment Advertising and Resourcing Services (National) NERARS 2018

Executive and Senior Specialist Search and Associated Recruitment Services

Financial Services

Global Workforce Mobility Services

Graduation and Ceremonial Gowns, Photography and Event Services

Insurance Brokerage Services

Legal Services

Occupational Health and Wellbeing for Students and Staff

Temporary and Permanent (TAP) Recruitment Services PFB4037SU

NWUPC STEMed & Laboratories Frameworks


3D Printers, 3D Scanners and Associated Equipment

Antibodies & Sera and other matrices

Electronic Components

High-Value Laboratory Equipment (HVLE)

IUPC Lab Gases Framework Agreement - 2021

Laboratory Consumables & Chemicals IRLA LAB4040 SU

Laboratory Equipment (General) and Associated Post Installation Services

Lasers and Associated Equipment (Dynamic Purchasing System)

Life Science Equipment

Life Sciences Reagents, Kits & Consumables

Mass Spectrometry and Chromatography Equipment

Microscopy and Imaging Equipment

Molecular Biology Research Services

Personal Protection Equipment, Clothing and Uniforms (PPE)

Veterinary Supplies, National Agreement for

NWUPC Travel & Accommodation Frameworks


Fleet Solutions - Sustainable

Travel Management Services 2019 PFB4039SU

NWUPC Utilities Frameworks


Flexible Energy Supply

Water/ Waste Water & Ancillary Services

Which public sector buyers use NWUPC?

NWUPC buyers who could be using your services

You will notice as well as Universities there are also some affiliate members such as Police Authorities and NHS Trusts:

Bangor University

Edge Hill University

Glyndŵr University

Harper Adams University

Keele University

Lancaster University

Liverpool Hope University

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA)

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Manchester Metropolitan University

Queen's University Belfast

Royal Northern College of Music

Staffordshire University

Ulster University

University of Bolton

University of Central Lancashire

University of Chester

University of Cumbria

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

University of Salford

University of Wolverhampton

University of Worcester

LTE Group

National Museums Liverpool

Newcastle-Under-Lyme College

Science & Technology Facilities Council

Scottish Police Authority (SPA)

St Marys University College Belfast

Stranmillis University College

Affiliate Members

Aston University

Hospice Quality Partnership

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Norwich University of the Arts

Regents Theological College

Southport College

The Energy Consortium

The University Caterers Organisation

Speak to a Bid Writing Expert

How does an NWUPC Framework work?

NWUPC uses the portal EU Supply. You can use this link to register on the portal to start bidding or to view current NWUPC tender opportunities.

For more tender opportunities take a look at our comprehensive and free tender alert software, covering UK and Europe, Tender Pipeline.

Once you have found an NWUPC framework you want to bid for and is available, you need to register on the EU Supply Portal and express an interest in the specific opportunity. At this stage, you will be able access full the tender pack for the framework, instructions on how to tender and deadlines for the bid submission. This is your chance to fully review the requirements, and assess your chances of success or whether it is something you want to bid for.

Once you have followed the instructions and submitted your bid, NWUPC will inform you via the portal whether you have been successfully shortlisted onto the framework. If you have been successful you will then have to sign contracts and there will be chances to engage with NWUPC in order to further understand how the framework will work. Most NWUPC frameworks allow for direct award and mini-competition. This means some of your public sector clients may choose to continue to work with you via this framework and via a direct award (no further competition). Or they will invite the relevant and successfully awarded bidders to submit a further tender specifically for their requirement.

Bid writing support for NWUPC Framework

As bid writing professionals, Thornton & Lowe has been helping clients win work on NWUPC frameworks for over 10 years. This has included sourcing relevant NWUPC tender opportunities, provision of bid writing and expert guidance, as well as support with supporting documents and the actual submission. In addition, we will regularly help our clients secure call-offs from NWUPC frameworks (further competition) to win contracts.

See our bid writing top tips here, which will help you secure your place on NWUPC frameworks.

Speak to a Bid Writing Expert

Bid Writing Success and Feedback:

“We have found working with the team at Thornton & Lowe to be excellent - their patience, attention to detail and professionalism throughout the entire process was greatly appreciated. We would highly recommend Thornton & Lowe to any company looking to secure more business." Cantium Business Solutions

To view feedback from our existing clients, click here.

We have several detailed case studies highlighting what we have achieved for our clients who bid into the public sector, which can be found here.

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