Partial success for GCS attempt to diversify agency base in £260m comms marketplace

An effort by the Government Communication Service (GCS) to broaden the geographical range of agencies it uses in its new communications marketplace has achieved partial success, it was revealed this week.

Alex Aiken has appealed to agencies from across the UK to join the new communications marketplace
Alex Aiken has appealed to agencies from across the UK to join the new communications marketplace

An analysis of the 30 agencies that have joined the new GCS communications marketplace to date reveals that 12 are based outside London.

While this shows clear progress in using agencies across the English regions, the picture is not as positive in the home nations: there is one agency based in Scotland, one in Wales, and none in Northern Ireland.

The marketplace will award up to £260m of government work over the next four years – a six-fold increase on the £42m estimated value of the comms framework that ran from 2017 until this year.

The marketplace, launched last month, is described by the Government as for “services including but not limited to; the provision of marketing, communications, creative services, recruitment advertising and events for all UK central government bodies, wider public sector organisations and charities”.

Agencies do not have to go through a formal tender process to get onto the marketplace. They only have to register the services they offer and provide credentials.

Introducing the marketplace recently, Alex Aiken, executive director of the GCS, said it would allow the public sector to “access suppliers from all four nations of the UK”.

And in a short film made to help explain the marketplace, he stressed the need for agencies from the home nations to get involved. “We want to encourage companies from Aberdeen and Inverness and from Belfast and Derry and from Cardiff and from Swansea and all around the UK to register and become part of the Communications Marketplace.”

Home nations agencies

  • SBW Advertising
  • Story UK

Regional agencies

  • Connect Live (UK)
  • DRP (UK)
  • Eleven Marketing & Communications
  • Four Hundred Communications
  • Glasgows
  • ICF Next
  • Inflowing
  • SMRS
  • Social and Local CIC
  • True North Communications

London agencies

  • 10 Group
  • 23red
  • Acuitas Communications
  • Allegory Communications
  • Atomized Studios
  • Blue State Digital
  • Cardew Group
  • Copper Consultancy
  • Damn Fine Media
  • Engine Partners
  • Freshwater UK
  • MCM Productions
  • Metro Production Group
  • MGI (London)
  • Pukka Films
  • Still Curious
  • The Team Brand Communication Consultant
  • Zinc Network

Click here to subscribe to the FREE public sector bulletin to receive dedicated public sector news, features and comment straight to your inbox.

Make sure you register for the site to access more than one story per month.

To submit a news, comment, case study or analysis idea for the public sector bulletin, email

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in