£500 million worth of contracts available for SMEs

  • InterTradeIreland is hosting a FREE Meet the Buyer event on 13th June at the Armagh City Hotel.  This is a chance for SMEs to build connections with public sector buyers, who between them have contracts worth up to £500 million. 

    Encouraging more firms to take up the opportunities that engagement in public procurement can bring, suppliers from across Northern Ireland will have the chance to have short one-to-one meetings with key buyers from various organisations.

    To give a flavour of who will be in the room and the type of difference it could make to an SME, the Education Authority has a budget of around £98 million for supplies and services alone with a further £200 million plus allowance for minor capital works.  

    Translink has a budget of £70 million for supplies and non-infrastructure services and a further £80 million for construction works, services, maintenance, vehicles and IT while NI Water has an initial £50 million budget with a further framework to be announced for Water and Sewer Network Services. 

    In addition to senior buying staff from the nine Centres of Procurement Expertise (CoPEs) in Northern Ireland there will also be representatives from the eleven local councils and the key NI business development agencies who will be advising on current funding opportunities and business supports available. 

    InterTradeIreland will also launch its ‘NI Local Authority Under Threshold’ booklet at the event which is a comprehensive document setting out how NI Councils procure and the threshold levels applied.  

    Grant Gilmore, InterTradeIreland explained:  “In addition to contracts that must be tendered, there is also a wealth of business opportunities for local companies in terms of smaller pieces of work, which are deemed ‘under threshold’ and subject to less complex processes, for example, public authorities might typically gain three independent quotes for works or services up to £15,000.’’

    Grant continued:  “I would encourage SMEs to come along to our event which is FREE to attend as it will give them the chance to find out how the procurement processes work.  It is an opportunity to meet buyers personally and showcase how your company could be invaluable.’’

    The InterTradeIreland Meet the Buyer event is supported by CPD, Invest NI, Enterprise Ireland, Strategic Investment Board and the Office of Government Procurement.  To register, visit www.intertradeireland.com/meet-the-buyer or click here.

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