Find out how the council used our Digital Marketplace to make it easier for councils to create websites, delivering an 80% saving on development costs.

Published 27 June 2022

Last updated 27 June 2022


Using a grant from the Local Digital Collaboration Unit’s Local Digital Fund, Cumbria County Council took on the lead role for the beta phase of the LocalGov Drupal project.

LocalGov Drupal is a community of developers, content designers and digital leaders from local councils across the UK. They have collaborated to develop a best practice, open source website publishing platform that is freely available to all UK councils, creating public digital assets for the benefit of all.

The community aims to create sector-wide digital transformation by developing a shared pool of code, resources, research and expertise, helping councils to deliver the best possible digital experience for citizens, and to reduce the risks and costs associated with developing council websites. 

The solution

Throughout the development of the LocalGov Drupal project, the team has consistently used our Digital Marketplace to identify and procure the innovative technology suppliers they needed to deliver different aspects of the project.  

The marketplace enables public sector buyers to find technology or people for their digital projects quickly, easily, and efficiently. Users are able to access everything from data centres to cloud hosting to individual technology specialists such as developers or user researchers. 

As Project Lead, Will Callaghan explains.

The Digital Marketplace enables us to undertake a quick and simple procurement exercise. It’s easy to use, the shortlisting process is clear and we have always received good submissions from suppliers.


Working with the multiple stakeholders and partners involved in the project has meant reconciling many different perspectives and requirements. Using a tried and tested solution like the Digital Marketplace, with a range of pre-approved suppliers available, provided the project team with a high level of confidence that they would be able to secure good outcomes. The alternative route of conducting an open market procurement was perceived as riskier and a potential drain on project resources which could instead be concentrated on getting the best possible result and delivering at pace.

The outcome

The LocalGov Drupal project can now count 28 councils and 8 suppliers among its growing community. The project has built a reusable council website codebase that can be set up in days instead of months and can evidence an 80% saving on development costs for a typical council website. With the latest funding from the Local Digital Fund, the team is working on microsite functionality that councils can use to create any spin-off website that they may need.

May-N Leow, Head of the Local Digital Collaboration Unit, said”

The LocalGov Drupal project is redefining how local authorities can partner with suppliers to deliver open source solutions with a business and operating model that not only gives councils ownership of what is developed but leverages suppliers to offer different levels of platform hosting and service.

Cumbria County Council itself has gained significant benefits from the project with Simon Higgins, Assistant Director of Customer and Community Services commenting:

The impact of LocalGov Drupal on our website and operations has been huge. We’ve started to see customer focused content and design that allows residents to access services and complete their business far faster than they could before.

To find out more visit the LocalGov Drupal website.

How we can help you

To find out more about how the Digital Marketplace and our other technology solutions could help to support your digital transformation projects, you can: