Tender: Path Head Watermill – Web Development

Path Head Watermill is seeking a web developer to completely redesign its website to attract first-time visitors and appeal to returning visitors.

This opportunity is part of Gateshead Council’s Digital Transformation Fund. The deadline for submissions is close of business 27 May 2022.

Organisation Background

Path Head Watermill is at the very inception of its digital adoption journey. Having spent a good deal of 2020, and the entirety of 2021 developing their premises for visitor engagement, the trustees now feel to be in a position to adopt best digital practices to reinvigorate Path Head Watermill’s identity.

Project Background

Path Head Watermill has had very little investment or attention paid towards its digital presence, until now. Its website is outdated and most critically unsecured, as it still employs an HTTP protocol. Path Head Watermill has identified a complete website redevelopment as its main area for progression and investment. It has a modest following on its social media pages which can generate some community engagement but this is also well worth developing. Hesitancy remains to do so until its main homepage reflects the quality, professionalism and natural beauty that this heritage site has on offer.

With a fresh set of eyes in the form of a new board of trustees, Path Head Watermill has identified the potential ‘Digital’ has to offer in growing and nurturing a community of engaged visitors.

The current website – www.gatesheadmill.co.uk – has too much text in a ‘flat’ format and is in need of a visual overhaul to better communicate information to potential first-time and returning visitors. Improvements to the site could include: a user experience strategy, considering user journeys and site mapping; updating/creating new brand imagery; an integrated bookings calendar to their diary as well as introducing an HTTPS protocol for data encryption.

Without a focused communication plan, the Trust struggles to engage potential visitors on the most important information about their site (opening hours, contact forms for bookings & enquiries, etc.)

The Trust is entirely volunteer-run and has had limited exposure to digital business operations. However, the current board of trustees shows clear leadership concerning the championing of their digital adoption and is not lacking in motivation. Proposals should be conscious of the reasonable technical skills required for volunteers without any previous web experience to manage, maintain or upload content to their website on an ad-hoc basis.

Key Requirements

Functional Requirements:

ID Feature Priority
1 Imagery – an emphasis on visualisation. Being able to convey the natural beauty and historical significance of this venue. High
2 Geographical information, easy-to-access and detailed directions to the site High
3 Stripped back/minimalist content design compared to existing website High
4 Bookings software integration Low
5 Active calendar for events and updated opening hours Medium
6 A strong SEO strategy Medium
7 Social media integration – posts and image to appear on the webpage in a newsfeed format Medium


Evaluation Criteria

The proposal will be evaluated through the following criteria:

  • Ability to meet Key Requirements; (25%) – submissions will be scored against their ability to meet the requirements that have been set out in the specification. We expect a document no longer than three pages in length or a brief presentation as part of your submission.
  • Value for Money (including ongoing security updates); (25%) – submissions should include a cost for the development of the website and ongoing maintenance for a period of up to one year. This will be assessed against the quoted costs of other submissions.
  • Evidence of similar project experience from clients in the third sector; (25%) – submissions will be scored against their functionality, showcasing considerations towards the service-users (in most cases volunteers) and the product’s overall usability.
  • Timescales (Ability to stick to timescales as set out below); (25%)


Deadline for full proposals 27 May 2022
Pitch Day (if necessary) 3 June 2022
Decisions and contracting 6 June 2022
Web development begins 7 June 2022



There is a budget of up to £2,740 for this project including the development of the solution and an annual cost of web hosting fees. Companies who are shortlisted to pitch must give a breakdown of project costs, as this will form part of the evaluation criteria.

How to apply

Please prepare your proposal as a (maximum three-page) document or short presentation and send it to Nathan – nathan.rowland@sunderlandsoftwarecity.com – by 27 May. Afterwards, we will be in touch to arrange a suitable date for you to pitch your proposal, if necessary. This will give you an opportunity to talk about your proposed integration as well as provide time for any questions you may have. If you have any immediate questions regarding applications, feel free to email Nathan at the same address above.