University expenditure

The University has a non-pay expenditure of circa £78 million per annum which is across a wide range of works, goods and services.

As a publicly funded body we are subject to the Public Procurement Regulations 2015 (affectionately known as the EU Directives) and are required by law to advertise our requirements over the given thresholds through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

We are also members of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortia (SUPC) for many commodity contracts.

As a university we are passionate about embedding sustainable procurement.

View the University’s policies and strategies relating to sustainability.


NETpositive FUTURES is a software tool used by the University of Plymouth procurement team to support engagement with suppliers around social, economic and environmental sustainability, it is inclusive of safeguarding against modern slavery and protection of human rights. NETpositive FUTURES is free for suppliers to access and provides an assessment, which supports and advises how sustainability relates to your core business practice and importantly how to increase your positive social, economic and environmental impact through choices and the activities you undertake.

NETpositive FUTURES contributes to how the procurement team engage with suppliers, not only in constructive dialogue on sustainability but in encouraging suppliers to produce an action plan of their own.

For more information visit: or Contact the University Procurement Team.

Local economy and contracts review

To encourage business with local suppliers, in particular micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, our contracts portfolio is regularly reviewed to ensure that those opportunities which are a good match to our local economy do not present barriers through their size or complexity. 

"Whilst we cannot guarantee business to local suppliers, we guarantee that we will make every effort to ensure that local business is aware of our requirements, does not have unnecessary barriers put in their way and that any firm, regardless of size and location, is treated fairly and transparently. We remain committed to putting the best contracts in place for the University and to buying from those contracts once in place. We have many local suppliers who have won and grown their business with us as a result of this approach." 

- Head of Procurement, University of Plymouth.

Procurement process

In selecting suppliers we will consider the Whole Life Costs, environmental and social impacts in our assessment of value for money. We have signed up to the Local Procurement Charter where we have pledged to work together to broaden overall support for local business and maximise the potential of the local supply chain.

As a public sector buyer, we are aware that our procurement processes can be daunting, particularly the highly regulated OJEU process. 

Therefore we aim to engage with both existing and potential suppliers and ensure that suppliers be treated fairly and openly and be given equal opportunity.