Public Contracts Scotland: How Do You Find Them?

If you are on the search for public contracts in Scotland, it can be difficult to know where to start and understand who currently holds the contract. 

With Scottish public sector spending over £11 billion each year buying goods, services and works, it is a no-brainer to be on the lookout for public sector work in Scotland, as well as the rest of the UK. 

In order to win public contracts, you need to know where to look, what to look for and how to persuade the buyer that you are the best fit for the job. 

At Thornton & Lowe, we have assisted many clients with PCS tenders, helping them navigate their way around and successfully completing ESPD’s and ITT’s (Invitation to Tender). We are also an approved training provider to all 32 Local Authorities and have trained 100’s of delegates across all levels of Tendering. 

With this in mind, this blog aims to provide you with a deeper understanding of public contracts in Scotland and most importantly: how to find them.

What are Public Contracts?

Before we introduce the methods to find public contracts, let’s first establish what it is that we want to find. 

A public contract is an opportunity that is published by public sector organisations for services, goods, utilities and other works. 

To put it simply, a public authority identifies a need, looks for the right supplier to fill that need and chooses the best company. 

Contract opportunities allow businesses of different sizes to bid competitively for government projects.

There are many reasons why a business would apply for public contracts e.g. new revenue streams, secure contracts and beneficial payment terms. 

How do you find public contracts in Scotland? 

If you are a business currently operating in the UK, you are most likely on the lookout for more contractual work.

Due to the benefits mentioned above, public sector contracts can be lucrative for businesses of various sizes. 

Whether you work in construction, healthcare or other sectors, you need to know where to look for public contracts.

When you have easy access to a range of tenders, specific to your industry, you will be able to focus your time on the contracts that will benefit your business the most. 

Check out our free software; Tender Pipeline to help you find relevant tender opportunities automatically. 

Below, we will explain several ways that you can find the live tenders in Scotland you are looking for.

Public Contracts Scotland

Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) is the procurement engine of the Scottish Government, with over 3500 tenders per annum and a spend of over £75bn this portal governs the various levels of commissioning from the 32 Local Authorities, Central Purchasing Units and those 155 plus Private Sector companies who use it.

There are various benefits from using this site, namely the following, all of which add intrinsic value to those looking to enhance their procurement knowledge and awareness of those 3rd party organisations who offer support and guidance.

  • Info Centre

  • News & Events 

  • Case Studies 

  • Info & Support Services

The system, although fairly well set out, can to the untrained eye look and feel cumbersome to get around. 

PCS also offers a “quick quote” facility for those smaller SME’s who are looking to pick up smaller contracts, normally with a value less than £5000.00 and are submitted electronically. 

Pro’s and Con’s of Public Contracts Scotland

Pro Points

  • PCS is the main window for some £75bn of public sector goods and services

  • It covers all 32 Local Authorities, Third Sector & Central Purchasing Units (APUC etc)

  • In addition, it accommodates purchasing opportunities from the private sector (currently 155 companies)

  • Promotes key national frameworks such as the £1.4bn City Deal Glasgow etc

  • It signposts areas offering additional assistance such as Suppliers Development Programme (SDP), this is the 


  • The site is not fully understood by many who use it and therefore there are various areas which are seldom searched to the advantage of the user

  • PCS can be confused with PCS-Tender (PCS-T) with PCS T being used on occasion for access to tender documents, a big problem is that the reference numbers from PCS do not relate to PCS T, thus confusion.

  • PCS has many entry levels across various pages so navigating it is not easy to manage into one key viewing area

Tender Pipeline 

While the Public Contracts Scotland website can definitely be useful, Thornton & Lowe has an alternative that aims to make finding contracts that much easier for you. 

Our software, Tender Pipeline, has access to millions of tenders & bids across Europe. 

Not only can you search for tender’s specific to your industry but you can also receive automatic email alerts every time a new tender is published. 

Within a few easy clicks, you can be browsing our tender pipeline and monitor who is winning public contracts in your sector. 

To get a better understanding of how our software works, watch the video below and see how easy it is to find the tenders you are searching for.

If you are looking to monitor contract renewals and know what tenders are upcoming, browse our Tender Pipeline today.

Oh, and it’s completely FREE too!

So to summarise, if you are looking for public contracts in Scotland, we have an easy-to-use software that will make finding contracts a breeze.  

If you are looking for advice, or need help with public contracts, please contact us below and find out how we can help your business!

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  • 6 Lady Wynd Cupar, Fife Scotland KY15 4DE
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