Golden Thread Gallery (GTG) is a contemporary visual art gallery and arts charity. We’re embarking on a new stage of our development and, with support from Arts & Business NI and from Art Fund, we want to redesign and relaunch our website to better reflect our organisation.

We are seeking proposals from experienced web development / design companies that can design and develop a visually appealing, user-friendly, and fully accessible website. The selected company will be responsible for the entire development process, from the initial design phase to the final launch of the website, together with ongoing maintenance and health checks.

Our budget range is £15,000 – £20,000 max, to include at least the first two years maintenance costs. The closing date for tenders is 12 noon Thursday 7th December 2023. Up to three bidding companies / designers will be shortlisted for interview. Interviews will take place w/c 18th December. The commission will be awarded by 22nd December 2023.


Golden Thread Gallery’s purpose is to present high quality artistic programmes embracing the breadth of contemporary arts practice, and to develop, support and champion contemporary Northern Irish artists. Our gallery showcases world-class national and international artists and emerging and early-career artists. Our mission statement is “Creating a context, challenging perceptions, promoting creativity, delivering contemporary visual art for all”. We strive to be a welcoming, accessible destination where every visitor is engaged, educated, challenged and inspired by visual art. Entry to the gallery, all exhibitions, outreach and activities is always free.

Our annual programme includes:

  • 7+ major exhibitions
  • Community participation hub
  • In house workshops, artist talks, tours
  • Offsite workshops
  • Online workshops
  • Artist support and mentoring

We’re moving to a new city-centre venue in 2024, reopening to the public in August 2024.


The current GTG website is dated, hard to navigate, lacks functionality, and, importantly for a visual arts organisation, is not visually appealing. We need to develop and launch a new Gallery website which truly reflects our organisation and showcases all that we offer. We want it to be more accessible and appealing to all audiences by providing all the information they need, rich and inviting visuals, and the warm and welcoming tone that encourages them to visit us. We need a site that can grow with us and that has multiple levels. By that, we mean that people who simply want to know what’s on and how to find us can get what they need easily – but could be inspired to linger and explore. At the same time, an artist or researcher seeking to learn more about our exhibitions or our history can go deeper, and find what they are looking for too.


Visually Appealing: Our new website would need a visually appealing, fresh, modern design whilst keeping the current logo and branding. We want to be able to share the highest quality full width images of our exhibitions and venue.

Accessibility: The finished website must adhere to legal requirements around accessibility and current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) – AA level. As we are a charity, this includes the Equality Act 2010 / Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland and the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. The tendering company should provide evidence of their expertise in building accessible websites. In addition, a clean and uncomplicated design with minimal images, click on click off for drop down menus, colour contrast options, and all page navigation to be in the same location (i.e., across the top). In addition, a link to accessibility info for visitors to the gallery venue itself should be always available at the top of every page.

Responsive Design: The website should be responsive and optimised for viewing on various devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. It should provide an optimal user experience across different screen sizes.

Intuitive Navigation: The website should have a clear and intuitive navigation structure that enables visitors to easily find the information they are looking for. An intuitive and user-friendly interface is essential for a positive user experience.

Content Management System (CMS): The website should be built on a robust CMS that allows our team to update and manage the content efficiently.

Online Gallery Experience: we want to include a virtual exhibition space as part of the website, a rich visual experience (including where feasible 360 tours) of future exhibitions; alongside video tours and imagery of previous exhibitions. Subtitling and audio description option should also be included.

Events calendar: The website should have an inbuilt searchable calendar where we can post and update all current and upcoming events in the gallery by date and by type/category e.g., exhibitions, workshops, artist talks, events.

Downloadable Content: The website should have capability for external organisations to access and download forms and how to guides. This will also include the ability to scan QR codes to open folders containing downloadable documents.

Donation and Fundraising Features: The website needs to include secure online donation functionality for one-off donors and a sign-up for our new donor-giving programme, allowing visitors to make monetary contributions easily. It should also support fundraising campaigns, event registrations, and volunteer sign-ups.

Embedded Web Forms: The website should have inbuilt proformas for mailing list subscription, newsletter subscription requests, surveys and contact forms.

Integration with Social Media and Web 3 Social: The website should integrate with our social media accounts, allowing seamless sharing of content and cross-platform engagement. Social media widgets and sharing buttons should be included to facilitate interaction. Web 3 social media integration will enable futureproofing and the potential to use Web 3 wallet for donations in years to come.

Multimedia Integration: The website should support the integration of multimedia elements such as images, videos, and audio files. It should provide a platform to showcase our charity’s work through compelling visual and multimedia content.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): The website should be optimised for search engines to improve its visibility and organic ranking. The tendering company should have a proven track record in implementing effective SEO strategies.

Secure and Scalable Architecture: The website should be built on a secure infrastructure and follow best practices to ensure data protection and privacy. It should be scalable to accommodate future growth and changes.

Security: Security of this site is vitally important. A comprehensive security system and plan must be included in all bids.

Analytics: The website should have the capability to produce reports and data to show visitor levels and activity.


BALTIC  – Accessibility & opening hours right at the top on first page but otherwise has dropdown menu rather than menu header – clean and simple; visually bold with focus on compelling images of exhibitions at first, but scrolling down you can find info on team, family activities, planning your visit etc. Really like the structure / menu headings, content is well organised and lots of depth. Feel like it could expand and develop easily without affecting the front page.

Fruitmarket, Glasgow – Easy to navigate, clear, simple, modern.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Modern, content changes with the season and even the time of day.

Void Gallery, Derry – Simple, contemporary, clear, clean visuals.

ICA Boston – You can find everything you are likely to need as first-time visitor on the front page; well structured; clean and straightforward layout, user friendly, not overly designed and comprehensive

CCA Derry – Visual, full width images in stories; simple headings; dropdown menu rather than headers; like the headings / structure; layout seems logical; all the key info on first page if you scroll down; looks fresh

Guggenheim Bilbao – Visually engaging, excellent virtual tours too


Please submit your proposal by email to Liz Byrne [email protected] by noon on Thursday 7th December 2023. Entries received after this date or incomplete entries will not be accepted. We will accept Word, PDF, or PowerPoint format.

The proposal should include the following:

  • Company profile, including relevant experience in website development and accessibility compliance.
  • Proposed approach and methodology for the website development process.
  • Detailed breakdown of costs, including any licensing fees, ongoing maintenance charges, and payment.


Tender Submission Closing date – 12 noon Thursday 7th December 2023

Interviews will take place w/c 18th December. Up to three bidding companies / designers will be shortlisted for interview.

The contract will be awarded by 22nd December 2023. We understand that work is likely to begin on the design and development only after the Christmas break.

Initial design concepts, including wireframes and mock-ups, to be submitted for review 5 weeks after the contract is awarded (earlier if possible), by Friday 9th February 2024.

Development of the approved design into a fully functional website, including the integration of required features and functionalities, to be completed within 10 weeks from the design approval date.

User acceptance testing (UAT) phase to identify and address any bugs or issues. The UAT period should not exceed 2 weeks. Please note, it is important you work closely with our staff at this stage.

Training and documentation to be provided to our team for content management and website administration.

Final launch and deployment of the website on our chosen hosting environment by end May 2024 or earlier if possible.

Ongoing maintenance and testing.


Please provide a full breakdown of costs with your proposal. Our budget range is £15,000–£20,000 max, to include at least the first two years maintenance costs.


Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”) and The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“EIR”) we may be required to disclose information concerning the procurement process or the Contract to a person who makes a request.

In this Confidentiality document tenderers may include details of information provided in their tender they consider should be withheld from disclosure, for example, because it would be likely to prejudice their commercial interest if disclosed to a third party including valid reasons for the exemption.

The tender document must be treated as private and confidential. Tenderers should not disclose the fact that they have been invited to tender or release details of the tender document other than on an “in confidence” basis to these who have legitimate need to know or whom they need to consult for the purpose of preparing the tender.

Golden Thread Gallery is supported. by: