Image: MAG

Manchester Airport has played a key role in supporting a ‘healthy and growing; regional economy by hosting its inaugural ‘Meet the Buyers’ event yesterday.

More than 200 attendees from over 100 local businesses took the opportunity to connect directly with key prospective clients in the Greater Manchester area.

Manchester Airport’s operator, MAG, hosted the event at its Runway Visitor Park, and the day opened with a speech from the airport’s managing director, Chris Woodroofe.

Buyers represented included private and public sector organisations, such as Manchester City Council, construction giants Mace, Kier and Vanderlande, and aviation service provider HSS Airports.

A range of workshops and presentations ran throughout the day, parallel to the event in the Runway Visitor Park’s main hangar. Manchester City Council’s Director of Inclusive Economy, Angela Harrington, delivered a talk on the city’s vision for future growth, followed by a presentation on Manchester Airport’s £1.3bn transformation programme by MAG’s Head of Procurement, Stuart D’Henin. Other presentations included a talk from Employment Law Consultant, Mark Brewer, with tips on onboarding and retaining staff.

Marcella M’Rabety, Head of Education, Skills & Employment at MAG, said: “It was fantastic to see such a good turnout and to connect so many great local businesses with major buyers who want to tap into wealth of ideas, expertise and innovation in this region. Events like this one help businesses make introductions to the right contacts while removing the need for endless cold calls, email chasing, and speculative meetings.

Platform for success

“We take that responsibility very seriously and will continue to do all we can to give regional firms a platform for success.”

Rob McGregor, attending on behalf of Vanderlande Industries, said: “It’s been a really good event. We’ve been able to meet lots of different suppliers, understanding what they can contribute. It has broadened our horizons in terms of understanding what is out there.”

Dan Ferneyhough, of Taylor Woodrow, added: “It has been really, really interesting. The format of Meet the Buyers is fantastic, having a large number of contacts sitting down with us to have short conversations. We have made quite a few new contacts who we can now go to with tender opportunities. We would certainly attend again and we would recommend others to do so too.”

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