Record number of businesses attend Meet the Buyer event in Cookstown

Carol and Joseph McHugh (Road Safety Contracts) discuss the College Plans with Damian Maguire (FGP)
Carol and Joseph McHugh (Road Safety Contracts) discuss the College Plans with Damian Maguire (FGP)

Over 200 people from Mid Ulster and further afield attended a large Meet the Buyer Event on Tuesday, March 4 in the Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown.

FGP Partnership, the Preferred Bidder to construct the Northern Ireland Community Safety College at Desertcreat, held the event to provide businesses with an opportunity to meet directly with the buyers with a view to gaining a foothold in the supply chain for this major contract.

The event planning and co-ordination was spearheaded by Cookstown, Dungannon & South Tyrone and Magherafelt Councils to promote the opportunities available for our local business community.

The Meet the Buyer Event was clearly ‘the only show in town’ on 4 March. With one of the largest business turnouts ever witnessed locally, it captured the attention of many local companies, suppliers and sub-contractors. Businesses in attendance were afforded the opportunity to present their company to the senior buyers responsible for the main work packages, which included;

• Steelwork, Metalwork, Block and Brickwork

• Curtain Walling, Envelope, Roofs and External Glazing

• Mechanical and Electrical Services

• Groundworks and Drainage

• Landscaping and Fencing

• Partitions and Ceilings

• Internal Finishes, Carpentry and Joinery

• Plant Hire, Material Supplies

• Site Services (fitted furniture, cleaning services, catering, vending etc)

Global Education (NI) Ltd (GEL) in association with the FGP partnership also provided ‘hands on’ support to assist companies complete Pre-Qualification Questionnaires required to assess the competencies of suppliers.

The new College when complete will provide state-of-the-art training facilities for Police, Fire & Rescue and Prison Service staff to train together on one purpose built site for the next 50 years.

This iconic multi-million pound facility will provide a unique centre of excellence for integrated operational, emergency and response training and will be the first of its kind in Europe.

Mr Steve Rickwood, FGP Director, was delighted with the turnout of businesses at the event, and stated, “This was a tremendous event and I would like to thank Cookstown, Dungannon& South Tyrone and Magherafelt Councils for co-ordinating it on our behalf. It allowed our buyers to build a clear picture of the goods and services available locally and I look forwardto the prospect of developing new relationships with many of these businesses in the future”.

Councillor Seán McPeake, Chairman of the Mid Ulster Statutory Transition Committee, the body with responsibility for establishing the new Mid Ulster District Council, said “The organisation of this event once again demonstrates local government’s role as a catalyst in maximising opportunities for local businesses and investment.

“Businesses play an integral part in the sustainability and vibrancy of our communities and the more we do to help them get a foothold in the supply chain for this major contract the better.”

He added: “The joint organisation of this event by Cookstown, Dungannon & South Tyrone and Magherafelt Councils cements local government’s commitment to working together for the Mid Ulster region, with undoubted spin-offs for the rest of the north of Ireland”.