Media release: Call for Highlands and Islands businesses at virtual Meet the Buyer North event


THE Supplier Development Programme (SDP) will hold the fourth annual Meet the Buyer North event on Tuesday, 7 September as a fully virtual, online event.

Partnered by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Government, this unique event allows local businesses in Orkney Islands, Western Isles, and Shetland Islands, as well as those in Highland, Moray and Aberdeenshire to connect directly with the public sector to learn about upcoming contracts and opportunities.

The Meet the Buyer North 2021 is an unique opportunity for businesses to spend one day – or part of one day – to meet buyers, such as procurement officers from local authorities and other public organisations, in an alternative format as a virtual event.

Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism & Enterprise, is confirmed to open the virtual event.

“This online event eliminates costly travel time and brings buyers from Scotland’s public sector, private contractors with supply chain opportunities, and business support providers, together in one platform engage with businesses of all sizes,” said Gillian Cameron, SDP Programme manager.

“More than 600 suppliers have registered to attend the virtual Meet the Buyer North event so far.”

In addition to virtual exhibitions from the Scottish Government, confirmed buyers include Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Fife, Highland, and Moray Councils.

Exhibitors of note also include the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Social Security Scotland.

Other exhibiting organisations include Scottish Procurement Alliance, Scotland Excel, Transport Scotland, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd., Living Wage Scotland, Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire, and Business Gateway Tayside.

More virtual exhibitions are still being confirmed.

Gillian Cameron continued: “There will be a packed agenda with speakers throughout the day on hot topics in the North of Scotland such as Growth Deals, Community Wealth Building strategies, the Climate Change emergency in public sector procurement, Fair Work First.”

“Businesses want to know how to bring innovation to the public sector, the implications of Brexit, and perhaps most importantly, COVID-19 economic recovery plans with links to sustainable, open and transparent procurement.”

“With £12.6bn procurement spent annually in Scotland’s public sector, if a business hasn’t considered tendering, then they’re missing out.

“That’s what Meet the Buyer North aims to do, to get more local businesses to find, win and keep public sector contracts.”

The ‘Power of Procurement Stage’ will see Diane Beattie, Moray Council Payments Manager and Fiona Conti, Strategic Procurement Manager at Aberdeenshire, City and Highland Council Shared Procurement Service, deliver a joint presentation to attendees.

The Scottish Procurement Alliance will also deliver a presentation which will be of particular interest to micro and small businesses based in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council, as well as other businesses in the North of Scotland.

On the ‘Let’s Do Net Zero Stage’, suppliers will hear from the Aberdeen City, Shire and Highland Council Shared Procurement Service on the Circular Economy, Fair Work First and Net Zero.  This presentation will be followed by a presentation from CFINE on Sustainable Food and Five Steps to Net Zero by SCDI.

Speakers and other staff will be available to answer questions in live Q&A sessions, and businesses will also hear about top tips for tendering from the Supplier Development Programme.

The virtual event is free to attend, and businesses must register for a free account via in advance.


Notes for editors:

  • SDP is a publicly- funded partnership led by local authorities, working in conjunction with Scottish Government and other public bodies, to bring Scottish SMEs support in all aspects of tendering. By assisting businesses to become tender for public procurement, SDP improves all-round efficiency, sustainability and market potential.
  • In Scotland, there is an annual public spend of £12.6billion. In the UK, there is an annual public spend of £240 billion. SDP Scotland offers free training throughout Scotland to Scottish SMEs to support and champion them tendering for this work.
  • Membership of SDP provides:
    • early market awareness and promotion of potential tender/supply chain opportunities;
    • support at the organisation’s tender-related supplier engagement events;
    • additional participation in the organisation’s tender and supply chain opportunities; and assistance to organisations to promote the availability of the Supplier Development Programme’s free procurement training to the organisation’s supply base.

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Contact: Jennifer Payne
Phone: 07584174531