London City Airport’s CEO Robert Sinclair signalled a wealth of opportunities for local businesses and SMEs as he opened the inaugural Royal Docks Meet the Buyer event today, at the Aloft London Excel.
The free event, fully funded by London City Airport, and supported by Aloft London Excel, provides local businesses the chance to meet major buyers in London’s Royal Docks, including those in the airport’s supply chain and involved in its transformative £480m development programme.
Over 100 small businesses, including 19 from Newham, registered in advance for the opportunity to meet face to face with buyers based in, or working in, London’s Royal Docks, who are actively sourcing, issuing tenders, obtaining quotes and awarding supplier contracts.
The airport sits at the heart of the 125-hectare Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, which is expected to generate 40,000 jobs, 20,000 new homes and over £5bn of inward investment by 2037.
The airport is joined by 19 other major buyers requiring expertise in a variety of sectors including construction, engineering, facilities management and IT services. Buyers include international firms Bechtel (the airport’s delivery partner), BAM Nuttall (a major development contractor) and Multiplex, the main contractor for the ABP development in Royal Albert Dock. Other attending buyers based nearby include the University of East London, Canary Wharf Group and Aloft London Excel itself.
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer of London City Airport, said:
“As momentum on London City Airport’s four-year £480m development programme builds, and opportunities increase both at the Airport and the Royal Docks, we want to make sure local businesses are in the front seat to benefit from this growth, particularly Newham SMEs and those in wider East London.
“The Royal Docks Meet the Buyer event is a great opportunity to connect suppliers with the Airport and our local partners, who all recognise that a locally resourced business is a responsible and resilient one.
“The Airport already spends £34.5m annually with East London businesses, and as we transform, events like this raise awareness and offer practical advice so local businesses are in the best possible position to share the economic gains.”
Attending the day, Jane Sherwood, Director of Regeneration at Newham Council, added:
“Here at Newham Council we are keen to see our local businesses grow and benefit from the regeneration of the borough. It makes good economic sense for large developers to spend money locally which in turn supports and nurtures the business community.
“We are very pleased that London City Airport has organised this event and invited other buyers along. We are keen to encourage both buyers and suppliers to positively engage with each other and understand how they can collaborate together for their mutual benefit.”
Antoinette Roper, Senior Project Manager for BE Group, organisers of the Royal Docks Meet the Buyer, said:
“This event gives local companies an amazing chance to come and talk to businesses that want what they can offer in terms of products and services.
“With 20 major buyers and over 100 suppliers attending the event we hope if can provide some new and exciting opportunities for local suppliers and businesses. There is business to be done at each table, with the buyers are waiting there for the right suppliers. You really can’t afford to miss it!”
Attending the event as exhibitors, the East London Business Place (ELBP) provide practical advice to businesses on tackling gaps in innovation, contract readiness and knowledge of procurement and supply-chain requirements.
The Online Buyer Catalogue, which lists all the buyers involved in the event, can be found here. Prior to the event, the airport hosted and ran free ‘Planning, Preparing and Building your Pitch’ workshops and offered one-to-one coaching for local companies bidding for work.
Notes to editor
Royal Docks Meet the Buyer The Royal Docks Meet the Buyer is fully funded by London City Airport for local SMEs to give them a unique opportunity to create ongoing relationships with buyers in the airports supply chain and beyond leading to business growth. This is a unique event that connects large national buying organisations with local businesses in the area. Meet the Buyers has a proven track record of generating new business with our experienced event management team and state of the art appointment matching systems we are fully equipped to facilitate meaningful business connections between active buyers and relevant suppliers.
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