Carrickfergus Meet the Buyer event ‘tremendous success’

Jill Campbell, (left) from Maggies Working Kitchen, with Sharon Machala, from Food NI (Taste of Ulster), at the Meet the Buyer event in Carrickfergus Town Hall. INCT 10-004-PSB
Jill Campbell, (left) from Maggies Working Kitchen, with Sharon Machala, from Food NI (Taste of Ulster), at the Meet the Buyer event in Carrickfergus Town Hall. INCT 10-004-PSB

Carrickfergus enterprises have been developing business opportunities during a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in the Town Hall.

It was the third in a programme of events funded and supported by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council on behalf of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Participants were matched with central government organisation buyers to discuss the potential supply of their products and services to them In total, 62 appointments were held over the four-hour event.

Buyer organisations included: Central Procurement Directorate (CPD), Food NI, Forensic Science NI, HSC and

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The event offered a broad spectrum of procurement opportunities for local SMEs and they responded with 59 from across the region in attendance.

A training workshop was also held to help with the tendering process where many of the larger procurement opportunities are to be found. This workshop was attended by many of the participating SMEs and was facilitated by Christine Davey of CPD.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe, opened the event by thanking the buyer organisations for their support.

Speaking afterwards Mr Ashe said: “The three Meet the Buyer events that we have held to support local businesses have been a tremendous success. Over 200 businesses have attended the three events to take advantage of the opportunity to discuss the supply of their products and services to large buyer organisations.

“What has been particularly pleasing has been the participation of so many large buyer organisations from across Northern Ireland and further afield. Buyers have ranged from the largest private sector organisations, to local councils and central government departments and divisions.

“We have some excellent SMEs in the Borough of Mid and East Antrim and the fact that so many large buyers have participated in these Meet the Buyer Events illustrates that the excellence is recognised and they want to find suppliers here.”

David Magee of Glacier Water Systems, who specialise in the supply and installation of water filters and water cooler systems, attended all three events. After meeting with a number of the buyer organisations in Carrickfergus, he said: “These events have been great for us. The opportunity to meet the individuals responsible for making buying decisions in these organisations is very beneficial to small businesses like us.

“We’ve already successfully negotiated a number of deals having met buyers at the events and we’re hopeful of securing a few more yet.”