Over 400 participants today attended an information and speed meeting event in Dublin for suppliers in the construction sector to learn how to become part of the supply chain for the €200m Central and East Quads PPP development project at DIT’s new education campus in Grangegorman, Dublin 7.
This ‘Meet the Buyers’ event also gave participants access to representatives from the three shortlisted building consortia to promote their offer in a series of short 5 minute ‘pitch meetings’, and the opportunity to network with other suppliers with the aim of partnering and maximising the business potential from this major construction and development project.
The event was officially opened by Ged Nash TD, Minister for Business & Employment and was hosted by the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) and Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) in partnership with Enterprise Ireland. This is the fourth such event promoting supply chain opportunities organised by the NDFA and Enterprise Ireland, and will be followed by further information and networking events as other projects are rolled out later this year as part of the Government’s PPP Stimulus Package.
Speaking at the event Minister Nash said: “This event provides a real opportunity for small businesses in the construction sector to gain access to key decision makers and construction consortia who are bidding for this flagship project. The high number attending shows the keen interest in this type of initiative. It is encouraging to see the recent Purchasing Managers Index which shows that activity and employment in the construction sector rose for the 11th month in a row showing a strong growth in housing and commercial sectors”.
The Minister continued, “The Government’s Action Plan for Jobs includes a strong focus on maximising procurement opportunities and highlights various actions to assist companies capitalise on the significant business opportunities afforded by public sector expenditure. It is well documented that one of the key issues for suppliers is gaining access to buyers and decision makers. This event today is an example of concrete actions we are taking to demystify the world of public procurement and stimulate increased business for potential suppliers”.
The Grangegorman re-development is a flagship Government project and its reach can be felt far beyond the Dublin 7 area. This phase of DIT’s new campus at Grangegorman will accommodate approximately 11,000 students and staff when completed and occupied in September 2017. Construction has already commenced on the broader campus with work scheduled to begin on the Central and East quads development in 2015. The overall strategic regeneration project at Grangegorman will deliver in the region of 4,500 construction jobs and a further 1,000 when complete.
The NDFA is responsible for delivering €650m of Public Private Partnership projects as part of the €2.5b Infrastructure Stimulus Programme announced by the Irish Government in July 2012. Through the Grangegorman re-development project, the Government is investing approximately €300 million into the Irish economy over this period up to September 2017. There will be further investment when further areas of the campus development come to market. The next DIT phase will include the West Quad (Business) and the new library. Other projects coming online within the re-development are the HSE primary care centre, the new Dublin 7 Educate Together primary school and the Community Nursing unit.
Brian Murphy, Chief Executive of the NDFA, welcoming the opportunity to work in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, said: ‘Events like these are helping to engage SMEs into the supply chain for major public sector construction projects and I am encouraged to see so many of them attend today. By facilitating introductions between the shortlisted consortia and possible suppliers these Meet-the-Buyer events are of huge benefit to both parties. SMEs gain direct access to buyers and decision makers while buyers meet suppliers face-to-face and find out about their capabilities. The resulting business relationships also have a wider application beyond the project concerned’.
Chief Executive Officer of the Grangegorman Development Agency, Mr. Michael Hand, said that he was delighted to see such attendance at this important event and such interest in this significant aspect of the Grangegorman re-development. He said: ‘In delivering the regeneration of Grangegorman the Agency aims to maximise opportunities for local and national businesses. It is fantastic to see all of the companies here today looking to be part of it. I can assure them that apart from the Central and East Quad contract there will be other opportunities coming down the line and we look forward to their continued interest in this flagship national strategic project’.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland said: ‘The DIT Grangegorman project will offer opportunities for companies across all sectors but in particular, those involved in the construction sector. This is a priority sector for Enterprise Ireland because of its job creation potential. There are close to 100,000 people employed in the sector in Ireland, and Enterprise Ireland’s ambition is to drive further growth and job creation. Today’s event is about supporting Irish companies to win lucrative contracts in Ireland, and to use the experience gained in the delivery of world-class building infrastructure in Ireland as a platform for growth in international markets’.
For more information on the DIT Grangegorman Campushttp://www.ndfa.ie/TenderCompetitions/DITCampusGrangegorman.htm