Over 100 local business leaders have met with senior council officials to find out how they could work with the city council on future developments.

The ‘Meet the Buyer’ event this week has seen the council open its doors to give businesses the opportunity to find out how they could bid for work as part of a multi-million pound capital programme investment over the next four years, which will be made by the city council and across the wider North Staffordshire economic area.

The business leaders heard how there is over 1m square feet of development opportunities in the city and how employment growth in Stoke-on-Trent is forecast to increase by the fourth fastest rate in the UK by 2021.

Representatives from a range of local businesses including architectural, engineering and legal services were able to have face-to-face meetings with a whole host of council services ranging from planning and project management to inward investment. They also listened to presentations given by service leads about how to submit a tender to be included in the framework, which could see them help transform the city over the next four years.

The online process will be accessible by a range of public bodies across the region focusing on key framework projects; new housing developments, refurbishing operational buildings and leisure sites, school improvements and the city council’s Transforming Cities Fund programme.

Councillor Abi Brown, leader of the council and cabinet member for corporate resource, strategy and partnerships said: “It was fantastic to see so many local organisations attend our Meet the Buyer event.

“Big projects send a big message about the city, we are excited to be implementing this procurement programme and we hope professional services will benefit from a more streamlined approach through the tender process.

“It’s important for us that local companies are able to benefit from the resurgence of the city, and we are committed to opening up opportunities to as many city businesses as possible. We have some great local expertise and we want to ensure that we are able to use that locally”.

Mark Palmer, Director of Affinity Design & Management, an architects, surveyors and engineering firm formed in 2017 that are based in Longton, attended the event and said: “We are very interested in the city council’s investment priorities. We think it is a great scheme for Stoke-on-Trent as a city and also for the local professional community. Events like this are fantastic for us to meet key council staff and build relationships”.

Andrew Durber, Associate Director of Wardell Armstrong, a multidisciplinary engineering, environmental and mining consultancy said: “We are exciting to learn about the framework and how we can bid to hopefully be awarded a place on it”.

To access the tender portal, go to https://supplystokeandstaffs.proactishosting.com/. For questions on the tender process contact Jonathon Phipps, Strategic Manager Commercial Development at Stoke-on-Trent city council jonathon.phipps@stoke.gov.uk.

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