More than 50 businesses eager to be part of three school construction schemes have been discussing the opportunities available to them.
More than 80 per cent of them were from Wales, with almost 60 per cent of the total having an SA postcode.
They all booked a place on a virtual meet-the-buyer event where they discussed the schemes with main contractor Kier Construction.
May 21’s free event was organised by Kier, Business Wales, Sell 2 Wales and Swansea Council which is driving the major projects at Bishopston Comprehensive School, Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr and Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tan-y-lan.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “We’re delighted that so many businesses are interested in joining us on this important work – and that such a significant proportion are local to Wales and Swansea.
“We wanted to give Welsh businesses all the information they need to bid for work on these projects.
“With that information, they can now consider which opportunities they can bid for on these school projects. Meet-the-buyer events are traditionally face-to-face affairs but, on this occasion with us doing all we can to help curtail the spread of coronavirus, the online format proved really successful.
Swansea Council and the Welsh Government are improving school buildings.
Work at Bishopston Comprehensive will include the demolition of two demountable classrooms and the construction of a two-storey extension and a reception area. Some other parts of the school will be remodelled and other improvements will include new mechanical and electrical services.
Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tan-y-lan will be a new primary school in Hillview Crescent, Clase. Work will include the construction plus external works, drainage and services. Accommodation will include teaching areas, a nursery facility, a hall and kitchen.
Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr is to get a new two-storey teaching block, kitchen and canteen/hall. Other improvements will include the creation of new sports facilities along with a remodelled drama studio.
Kier Construction’s virtual meet-the-buyer event helped them source sub-contractors for the three projects.
It was in the form of one-to-one 15-minute meetings booked in advance and delivered via Microsoft Teams video conferencing.
Business Wales provided guidance for bidding as well as general and specialist business advice.
Jason Taylor, operations director for Kier Regional Building Western and Wales, said: “The virtual meet the buyer event went brilliantly.
“It was fully booked and the format meant that each business had one-on-one time to understand and discuss the project requirements. There was lots of engagement, questions and follow-up. We’ll certainly look to use this format again.
“As a business, we’re committed to working with local supply chains to deliver projects across Wales and this event will further strengthen our supply partners in the Swansea area.”
David apJohn-Williams, regional manager for Business Wales, said: “We’re extremely delighted to have been a part of this virtual meet the buyer event, supporting Kier Construction source sub-contractors for their three school projects and providing tendering support to participating businesses.
“A first of its kind, the online event proved that even during these challenging times, we’re still able to come together and provide timely and expert support to stakeholders and businesses alike.”