About us

Our state-of-the-art headquarters and distribution centre in Enderby, Leicestershire.

Introducing ESPO

ESPO is a public sector owned professional buying organisation (PBO), specialising in providing a wide range of goods and services to the public sector for over 35 years. We offer a comprehensive, one-stop shop solution of over 27,000 catalogue products, 120 frameworks and bespoke procurement services, all with free support and advice available from our expert teams.

Being 100% owned by the public sector means that any surplus we make after recovering our costs is returned to the public purse.

Our history

Originally established in 1981 to provide a comprehensive procurement service to Leicestershire County Council and Lincolnshire County Council, ESPO has since grown into a well-known, respected organisation for customers from all areas of the public sector.

Today we are one of the country’s largest PBOs, managed by six member authority councils: Leicestershire County Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Norfolk County Council, Warwickshire County Council, and Peterborough City Council.



Our customers

From our head office and warehouse based in Leicester, we service over 200,000 customers every year across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, from all areas of the public sector:


Our catalogues

Our comprehensive catalogue contains over 27,000 products including stationery and office equipment, classroom resources, catering, cleaning, site management, and furniture.

Our public sector ethos ensures we always offer our lowest possible prices and regular benchmarking means that prices remain competitive.

From our 120,000 square foot warehouse we stock up to 10,000 products and deliver them to our customers using our own dedicated fleet. To complement our range we also offer an additional 17,000 products that come direct from our suppliers. This arrangement ensures our product offering is extensive and meets the unique requirements of the public sector.

Our frameworks

Our market leading choice of over 120 framework solutions make ESPO one of the largest providers of public sector frameworks. All our frameworks are free to access and provide a quick and compliant way to source a wide range of products and services.

Our framework offering is extensive and covers many different services, falling under our 10 categories. Visit our Procurement Categories page to read more.

Using a framework ensures that the buying process is fully compliant with EU and UK procurement legislation and all suppliers listed on our frameworks have been assessed during the procurement process for their financial stability, track record, experience and professional ability.

Framework terms and conditions have been pre-agreed by our team to ensure that they are fair, transparent and in the best interest of our customers.


Square foot of space in our Leicester based warehouse and head office


Products available to buy in our annually-released general catalogue

£1.7 bn

Total value of spend through our frameworks in the year 2017-18

Our mission

To work in partnership with our stakeholders to drive value-for-money for the public sector, through comprehensive procurement solutions.

Our values 

Our values guide everything we do here at ESPO, helping us to provide the best possible service to our customers and operate in a way that is in line with our public sector ethos.
Customer focused
“Customer service is at the heart of everything we do.”
“We share our successes, support and encourage each other and adopt an enthusiastic ‘can-do’ approach.”
Working together
“We willingly take responsibility as individuals and teams for working, supporting and engaging with each other to achieve overall success.”
Trust and respect
“We are all accountable for ensuring high standards of behaviour and performance at work. We value diversity and listen to differences in opinion.”
Openness and transparency
“We communicate clearly and share key information with each other and our customers.”

Our people

"At ESPO we have over 300 dedicated members of staff striving to deliver the very best service to our customers. Throughout our established history we have continued in pursuit of our mission to work in partnership with our stakeholders to drive value-for-money for the public sector, through comprehensive procurement solutions including best practice sourcing, outstanding customer care, support and advice. From our warehouse to our offices, it’s our people that have made us the well-known and respected organisation that we are today and one that I am proud to lead.”

Kristian Smith, Director


1974 Local Government re-organisation sees the merging of the Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council supplies departments, and the appointment of Fred Harvey whose vision for the benefits of collaborative procurement created the beginning of ESPO as we know it today.
1981 ESPO is established to provide a comprehensive procurement service to Leicestershire County Council and Lincolnshire County Council.
1982 ESPO moves its warehouse from Groby to a purpose built distribution centre in Glenfield, Leicestershire.
1982 Cambridgeshire County Council joins the consortium.
1985 ESPO's first catalogue is published.
1985 Norfolk County Council joins the consortium.
1987 Leicester City Council and Peterborough City Council join the consortium.
1991 Warwickshire County Council joins the consortium.
2002 ESPO's catalogue website launches, allowing online ordering for the first time.
2006 ESPO moves to a new, purpose-built office and distribution facility at Grove Park, Leicester; close to junction 21 of the M1.
2006 ESPO acquires Northampton County Supplies.
2009 ESPO's distribution centre in Wales is created.
2012 ESPO's own brand SmartBuy range launches, offering great value everyday essentials.
2014 Leicester City Council withdraws from being a member authority, but maintain their commitment to using ESPO for procurement projects.
2014 ESPO rebrands with an updated logo, and relaunches espo.org as a 'hub' for customer registration and frameworks.
2018 ESPO Trading Limited is set up, giving the opportunity for ESPO to bring its services to a wider audience, and makes its first acquisition under this banner with the early years provider Eduzone.
Today ESPO continues to grow rapidly; delivering high quality and great value to the public sector across the UK.

In this section


A-Z of products and services


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Builders materials


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Jigsaw blades


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Grass seed


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Voltage optimisation


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Document scanning


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Kerbside recycling


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Water coolers


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Quadbikes (mowers)


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Fire extinguishers


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Consultancy Services


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Zipped wallets


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Library books


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Unleaded petrol


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Mailroom equipment


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Rubber stamps


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Networking equipment


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Events security

Working in partnership with

Feefo 2020
ERA 2018
Youth Sport Trust
Love British Food