More than 90 supply and contractor businesses attended a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at Olympia Leisure Centre which was organised by Heron Bros, Belfast City Council and InterTradeIreland, as part of the £43 million contract to transform leisure in Belfast.

Belfast City Council and construction specialists, Heron Bros, said the number of companies which attended the ‘Meet the Buyer’ event made it a worthwhile exercise.

Suppliers attended to examine opportunities offered by one of the largest capital contracts ever awarded by Belfast City Council – part of a £105 million investment to transform leisure.

Heron Bros are currently involved in the transformation of Andersonstown Leisure Centre, Brook Activity Centre and the Robinson Centre and it is the opportunity to become involved in this that is being offered to contractors and suppliers.

Heron Bros also took the opportunity to introduce subcontractors and suppliers to industry organisations that can help them add value to their business through training and development. Organisations exhibiting at the event included; Business in the Community, Construction Industry Training Board, Federation of Master Builders and the Chartered Institute of Building.

Ken Whan, Operations Director at Heron Bros spoke of the success of the event: “Heron Bros is delighted with the fantastic turnout at our recent Meet the Buyer Event for our Belfast Leisure Transformation projects. There is certainly a lot of interest and buzz around the framework which local supply chain and subcontractors are keen to be a part of. The event has enabled us to widen our pool of quality-approved supply chain and subcontractors.”

“We engaged with many like-minded contractors who share our ethos and have the relevant experience, accreditations and customer-focused approach which we look for. Many companies, like us, are passionate about delivering added value through innovation, quality and sustainability which is extremely positive. We are confident that the procurement discussions which took place on the day will be fruitful in developing into long-lasting and collaborative partnerships.”

Councillor Aileen Graham, Deputy Chair of the council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: “The council is committed to ensuring that our investments have the widest repercussions socially and in economic terms, so it was fantastic to see 150 people representing more than 90 organisations.”

“The event offered the opportunity for individual discussions with Heron Bros staff to ensure that the organisations which attended knew exactly what they have to do and the skills and materials that are needed.”

“Staff from the council’s economic development unit and InterTradeIreland were also on hand to offer advice about how best to proceed,” she added.

InterTradeIreland Operations Manager, Grant Gilmore, said: “Making local companies aware of opportunities and ensuring accessibility are key success factors in public tendering. Working in partnership with Belfast City Council, Heron Bros and ourselves means that we can more effectively promote this amazing opportunity.”

“Using the newly transformed facilities at Olympia Leisure Centre lets SMEs experience, at first hand, the impact that this programme is having on the city and also the high standards expected of those seeking to participate.”

For further information on how to become a quality-approved member of our supply chain, please visit the Supply Chain section of our website.