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SEED Public Procurement Programme Launched
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COUNCILLORS and officers from the councils of Ards, Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Down and Newry and Mourne joined representatives from Invest NI and the local enterprise agencies at Banbridge Council Offices on Friday 19 October 2012 to launch the Public Procurement Programme.

The Public Procurement Programme is being managed by six of the seven partner councils involved in the South East Economic Development (SEED) consortium – a sub-regional grouping of councils who work in partnership to pool resources and deliver a wide range of economic programmes within the south east region of Northern Ireland.

Attending the Launch at Banbridge Council Offices were: (back row l – r)Eva Keenan (Banbridge District Council); Elaine Scullion (Envision); David Patterson (Down District Council); Catriona Regan (Banbridge District Council); Ciaran Tipping (Craigavon Borough Council); David Barter, Martin Patterson, Adrian Doyle (Newry & Mourne District Council); Diane Stinson (Armagh City & District Council); Michael McIntyre, Gary McArdle (Envision). (front row l-r): Cllr Robert Gibson (Ards Borough Council); Cllr Seamus Doyle (Banbridge District Council); and Mary Young (Invest NI).

The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland 2007-2013, Invest Northern Ireland and six SEED Councils (Armagh City & District Council, Ards Borough Council, Banbridge District Council, Craigavon Borough Council, Down District Council and Newry & Mourne District Council).

This two-year programme aims to support micro businesses develop the skills, knowledge and expertise required to compete for public sector work through the process of tendering. Through the Programme businesses will be supported to develop high quality tender submissions for public sector opportunities which should in turn, improve their chances of success in the public sector market.

Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Mickey Coogan said: “The Programme will provide awareness of the potential benefits of adopting a more professional approach to the tendering process, amongst the general business community and improve the level of procurement capability within the participating businesses from across the SEED region.

“Overall, this two year programme will create growth opportunities for micro businesses throughout the six participating council areas by way of increased sales and turnover. Ultimately, it is anticipated that this programme will help create jobs and stimulate economic activity across the region.”

Some 36 participants will be given the opportunity to participate in the free workshops and one to one mentoring being delivered as part of the programme.  The first workshop, Identifying Public Sector Tender Opportunities, will be held in November 2012.

The programme will be delivered by Envision Management Consultants on behalf of the six partner councils.

For further information about this programme, contact Envision Management Consultants on 028 9045 2777 or send an email to [email protected].