Scottish farmers and landowners have been urged to take advantage of the substantial returns of public sector contracts by experts in the field, at an event run by Scottish Land & Estates.
Despite the market being worth around £9billion a year annually, rural land based businesses in the main are either unaware of the benefits or avoid public contracts due to the complex nature of the application process.
In a move to encourage access to contract opportunities, the landowner organisation brought in expert representatives from Tayside Contracts, Plansafe Solutions, the Scottish Government and Public Contracts Scotland to explain the application process and speak of the great opportunities the public sector offers.
Pat Somerville, Rural Enterprise Project Officer with Scottish Land & Estates, commented: “The Scottish Government has recently acknowledged the need to reform public procurement to improve Scottish businesses’ access to contract opportunities. Many of our members and other rural businesses are lacking knowledge in this area and more needs to be done to encourage small and medium sized businesses to apply. Public sector contracts are stable, payment is secure and the demand is more predictable than other business opportunities, which offers a great way to consolidate and grow businesses.
“This information day was a great success with delegates from a variety of backgrounds remarking that they’ve now gained the information, confidence and expertise to move forward with their business to tender for public sector contracts in the future, from a variety of speakers who knew their subjects thoroughly.”
One delegate commented: “As a supplier, I now have a better understanding of what is being looked for by the buyer. I have been using the portal for two years but today I have learned many new things about the site and the services it offers. It was also of benefit to discuss the health and safety aspect - although the red tape is nerve wracking, proper straightforward systems updated regularly do not need to have huge cost implications and could actually save money. We have a duty of care and we need to take it seriously as our competitors will do.”