Tender Opportunities with the Vindolanda Trust 




Vindolanda Museum Extension Tender Ref: VT/02372


Date of tender issue: February 22nd 2017


Subject: Building construction and associated works for an extension to the Chesterholm Museum at Roman Vindolanda.


The invitation should be read in conjunction with the full documentation for this tender, a link to which is available by request to:



1. Background


1.1 The Vindolanda Trust:


The Vindolanda Trust is a registered charity founded in 1970, to research, preserve and promote and provide access to the widest possible audience to the archaeology of Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum at Carvoran which lie at the heart of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site. The Trust is administered by a board Trustees who act independently and solely in the interests of the Trust. The site at Vindolanda currently attracts c 95,000 visitors per year.

1.2 Our mission

Our mission is to advance the knowledge and enhance the awareness of Vindolanda through a meticulous investigation of the archaeological record and maintain access to Vindolanda’s unique heritage resource and our contribution to the understanding of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site.

See www.vindolanda.com for a general overview.

2. The Project

Unlocking Vindolanda's Wooden Underworld.


The project aims to build a fit for purpose extension to Chesterholm Museum at Vindolanda to create a truly inspiring exhibition and activity area to enable a wide range of users to access the Trust’s outstanding collection of wooden objects and the fascinating stories that they reveal about their part in everyday life at Roman Vindolanda.

Full planning permission has been granted by Northumberland County Council using plans that have been approved by the Vindolanda board of Trustees. A Heritage Lottery Fund Stage 2 application for the joint funding of this project has been submitted.


2.1 Location: Chesterholm Museum is in open countryside approximately one mile north of the settlement of Bardon Mill and lies within the landscape setting of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and Vindolanda Scheduled Ancient Monument.  The museum and adjacent land where the extension is proposed is not part of scheduled land.

Chesterholm Museum lies in a secluded valley immediately below the Roman site of Vindolanda. The original, and architecturally interesting house of Chesterholm, which is not a listed building, has been significantly extended since being acquired by the Vindolanda Trust in 1974.  The proposed location for the gallery extension and activity space is to the north elevation of the existing museum complex, an area which has previously been extended.   This north elevation of the existing building is architecturally bland, dominated by a large mansard roof.  Adjacent to the building are utilities including an oil tank and generator.  Although access to the rear of the building is restricted to staff only, the building and development site is clearly visible from an adjacent public driveway and other buildings owned by the Vindolanda Trust. 

The successful tenderer will have demonstrated the ability to work in a manner that is sympathetic to an historic environment and in an area of high public interest.

2.2 Archaeology: An archaeological watching brief for project has been undertaken via trial trenching and has confirmed that no archaeology is present that will be affected by the development and has informed the project structural engineer of prevalent ground conditions. The Vindolanda professional on-site archaeological team will however be available throughout the build works any necessary advice or reference.

2.3 Bat Reports: Bat survey & report has been undertaken to inform planning and development process and to conform to current regulations for protected species.

3. The tender procedure:

If you are interested in the possibility of providing building construction services regarding the present call for tenders in respect of the above - mentioned project, you are hereby invited to submit a tender in triplicate following the indications and procedures laid down in this Invitation to Tender, with the Specifications and with all the related annexes, including the Terms of Reference.


Tenders must be:

  • Tenders must be placed inside two sealed envelopes. The outer envelope marked as, Vindolanda Museum Extension Tender Ref: VT/02372. should be sent by registered post, delivered by private courier service or delivered by hand (by the tenderer in person or by an authorised representative) to be addressed to Patricia Birley, Project Manager, The Vindolanda Trust, Chesterholm Museum, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 7JN   and to be received by no later than 16.00 on FRIDAY MARCH 17th 2017. 
  • If self-adhesive envelopes are used, they must be sealed with adhesive tape and the sender must sign across this tape.
  • The addressed envelope or package must contain a further sealed envelope with the name of the tenderer clearly indicated and containing the technical specifications and financial bid.
  • The following documents must be produced in order to tender, including supporting evidence of economic, financial, technical and professional capacity.

 Tenders must include all requested information and also be:

  1. signed by the tenderer or his duly authorised representative;
  2. legible so that there can be no doubt as to words and figures;
  3. name the tenderers main point of contact and full address/email details
  4. Include the last two years audited accounts
  5. Name two sources of reference in respect of previous relevant work.

 Before the final date for submission of tenders:

  • At the request of the tenderer, the Vindolanda Trust may provide additional information solely for clarifying the nature of the contract.
  • Any requests for additional information must be made in writing only to e-mail address sonyagalloway@vindolanda.com or to fax number 01434 344060
  • Such requests for clarification, together with the responses, will be sent to all tenders who have requested the specifications.
  • Requests for additional information received less than five working days before the closing date for submission of tenders will not be processed for practical distribution reasons.

To note:

  • The Vindolanda Trust will not have responsibility for any costs associated with any tender preparation and submission.
    • Period of validity of the tender, during which the tenderer may not modify the terms of his tender in any respect: 12 weeks after the deadline for submission of tenders.
    • Submission of a tender implies acceptance of all the terms and conditions set out in this invitation to tender and in the specifications. It is binding on the tenderer to whom the contract is awarded for the duration of the contract.
    • This invitation to tender is in no way binding on the Vindolanda Trust. The Vindolanda Trust’s contractual obligation will commence only upon signature of the contract with the successful tenderer.
    • All tender papers will be held in strict confidence
    • Up to the point of signature, the Vindolanda Trust may either withdraw from the contract or cancel the procurement procedure, without the candidates or tenderers being entitled to claim any compensation.
    • You will be informed whether your tender has been accepted for short listing.
    • Tenderers who are unsuccessful after interview will be given a written de-brief.


4. Documentation available to tenderers

Full documentation for this tender is available by request to:



5. Selection criteria

Tenders selected for the shortlisting and interview stage will have been passed as valid and of having supplied all the requested documentation including the tenderer's capacity and will be assessed based on the following:


5.1 Financial capacity

Tenderers will provide sufficient information, via the last two years of audited accounts, to satisfy

the Vindolanda Trust of their financial standing and that they have the necessary resources

and financial means to carry out the work that is subject of the tender.


5.2 Construction capacity.

All the criteria must be verifiable with a proven level of experience, track record and the

management ability to carry out a project of this scale and scope.

Tenderers will provide sufficient information, via two references of relevant and recent work, to

demonstrate that they have the capacity and experience to perform the work that is subject of this

invitation to tender.

Tenders should indicate any outstanding or pipeline work that covers the envisaged June 2017 to

January 2018 (inclusive) period of this tender.


6. Tender Timetable:

Wednesday February 22nd 2017                                Release of tender

Friday March 10th 2017                                               Last day for further information requests

Friday March 17th 2017 16.00hrs                               Return of tenders

Monday March 20th 2017                                            Opening of tenders & start of shortlisting process

Monday April 3rd 2017                                                  Shortlist agreed & invitations to interview issued

Wednesday April 12th 2017                                        Interview date for shortlisted tenderers

Tuesday April 18th 2017                                                Tender result issued

       7. Award criteria

        The contract will be awarded, after shortlisting & interview, based on the following award criteria:

  1. Economically advantageous but which may or may not be the lowest tender (35%)
  2. Experience & track record of the successful completion of similar sized projects & expertise to manage the project in full. (40%)
  3. Ability to meet the project timetable is demonstrated (20%)
  4. Any other added value (5%)





Patricia Birley MBE.FSA.DL

Project Manager & Chair of Impact & Development












Two Sites, One Amazing Day Out



"Extraordinary display - the most insight you could have into Roman lives. Thank you!" A, England - Vindolanda