Doing business with the Council

Information for the Council’s Contracted Suppliers - COVID-19 Supplier Relief Assistance

We are most grateful for the continued commitment, effort and support of our contracted suppliers to keep Newcastle’s services and supplies going during the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognise that this is a challenging and uncertain time for all, and that the impact of COVID-19 affects day to day business in many ways. It is important that now and for the duration of the outbreak, we work closely with our suppliers to ensure that they access the right support.

We also appreciate that some suppliers may struggle to fully meet their full contractual obligations, and that we may need to alter our requirements, temporarily suspend some services, or change ways of working to do what is necessary for our community.

During this period, we will work together with our contracted suppliers to provide support where possible so that we can resume normal contract service delivery as soon as possible once the Covid-19 outbreak is over.

Supplier Relief

The Council is working with Government to offer supplier relief (support) to ensure business continuity and retention of critical services during and following the outbreak. Relief is considered on a case by case basis according to the nature of the critical services being provided, the challenges being faced, the contracted terms and the constraints of any statutory requirements.

Every contract will have its own unique characteristics and therefore the relief available will vary case by case, but examples could include:

  • Accelerated invoice payment
  • Increased frequency of invoicing
  • Payment in advance or on order (not receipt)
  • Redeployment of any currently unrequired service capacity to other areas of need
  • Change to contract requirements including an extension to current agreed end date
  • Change to delivery locations, frequency and timing
  • Changes to targets and performance indicators
  • Extension of time for contract performance
  • Revised milestones or delivery dates
  • Payment at usual contractual rates for certain critical services with analysis and reconciliation at a later date

Supplier relief is currently available up to the end of October 2020. 

Requesting Relief

If you supply a critical service to the Council and would like to discuss flexibility or support up to the end of October 2020 through contractual relief, you should make email contact with your usual Council commissioning and procurement contract contact or to discuss the options that might be available.

You may be asked to provide information on your organisation to support your request so that that Council can quickly determine the best solution for both your organisation and for our community.

Supplier Obligations during the Relief period

We need all suppliers to ensure that business continuity is maintained wherever possible and that you enact your business continuity plans to do your utmost to support Council requirements.

Any supplier relief offered is conditional on suppliers agreeing to act and work on a total open book basis with appropriate cost transparency in order that the Council can continue to meet its value for money obligations.

Other conditions for any supplier relief are as follows:

  • Suppliers must commit to ensuring that any required cost data is made available to the Council where requested or agree to provide it at a later date for audit and reconciliation.
  • Where relief is offered, suppliers must agree to continue to pay their own employees and subcontractors to ensure business continuity.
  • Suppliers should retain records during the relief period in order to support future reconciliation.
  • Suppliers should strictly adhere to any agreed invoicing protocols in order that the Council can pay you quickly.
  • Where invoices are used, Suppliers should identify in their invoices which elements relate to normal business as usual matters, and which elements are related to the impact of Covid-19 where relief has been agreed.
  • Suppliers must not make relief claims to another source of Government funding which results in the same relief being paid by Government twice. This includes relief from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlow) for staff costs associated with the contract.
  • If found to be taking undue advantage or failing in their duty to act transparently and with integrity, then suppliers will face action from the Council to recover payments made

Finally, we feel sure that everybody will work together to deliver the best outcomes for our community and that any agreed relief up to the end of October 2020 is offered on this basis.

Your best efforts to support the Council and our community are genuinely appreciated. 


How we do business

Our Commissioning and Procurement Plan is an accessible guide to how we work. It sets out our aims and priorities for the things we buy and explains how we build maximum social and financial value into every contract opportunity.

On this page you will find links to live contract opportunities, our upcoming commissioning intentions, our contract list, and information on how you can find support to bid for contracts.

Find live contract opportunities

Open opportunities over £25,000

We publish all of our competitive contract opportunities over £25,000 on the NEPO portal along with the other North East local authorities.

If you would like to work with the Council you can register on the NEPO portal. You can then receive automatic alerts each time a new contract opportunity is published in an area you are interested in.

Consultancy and training opportunities of any value

If you offer a  consultancy or training service our live opportunities are published on the Bloom website. You need to register with Bloom to bid for these opportunities.


Commissioning Intentions

Every six months we publish a list of the most significant commissioning and procurement exercises that we intend to carry out, with details of how you can get involved in the early stages of commissioning design.

Commissioning Intentions - March 2019

Commissioning Intentions - October 2019


Contract list

Our commissioning intentions are taken from our wider contract list where you can see details of all existing contracts expected to come to an end in the next three years.  As requirements may change over time, information in the contract list is only ever an indication but gives a good sense of what is likely to happen and when.


Awarded contracts

You can view our awarded contracts on the NEPO portal.


Support to bid

You can access a range of support through the Council's business support partners to help improve your chances of bidding successfully:

  • The NEPO Business Club offers free training and networking events for local organisations in areas such as bid writing, understanding procurement, and developing social value in your business
  • Our Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) offers free support on intellectual property, and provides training events on things like content marketing, and developing innovative practice

Find out more about the support offered and book training via their websites at the links above.


Did you know?

During 2018-19:

  • 67% of the Council's spend on contracts was with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • 63% of the Council's spend on contracts was with local businesses in the North East
  • £45.4 million (15%) of the Council's spend on contracts and grants was with Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations.
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