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Contractors and suppliers ‘plug in’ to Leisure Transformation opportunities

15 Aug 2017
More than 90 supply and contractor businesses attended a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at Olympia Leisure Centre hoping to share in a £43 million contract to transform leisure in Belfast.

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

They were examining 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.

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.

Organised by the city council, Heron Bros and InterTradeIreland, the ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at Olympia was the latest in a series as the council tries to ensure its investments boost economic prospects for companies large and small.

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 likeminded 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 was 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.”

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 the supplier and contractor opportunities around the council’s Leisure Transformation Programme, please contact a member of the council’s Economic Development Unit on 028 9027 0482 or email

Cllr Aileen Graham addresses Meet the Buyer event