Stansted Airport offers a helping hand for business at annual Meet the Buyers event

Stansted Airport's Managing Director Andrew Harrison hosts a business breakfast to kick off today’s

Stansted Airport's Managing Director Andrew Harrison hosts a business breakfast to kick off today’s ‘Meet the Buyers’ event. - Credit: Archant

Companies from across the region are expected to generate new business deals worth millions of pounds as Stansted Airport’s annual ‘Meet the Buyers’ event gets underway at the Hilton Hotel today (October 3).

Over 150 local suppliers and 35 buyers are attending the daylong event which last year gave local companies the platform to generate a least £1.3 million of new business. The event, organised by the BE Group, allows small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and entrepreneurs direct access to companies based at, or close to Stansted Airport to market and sell their goods. In total an estimated 1,000 meetings will take place across the day.

Hosting a business breakfast to kick off proceedings, Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport’s managing director, said: “London Stansted ‘Meet the Buyers’ is fast becoming the ‘must do event’ in the local business calendar and this year is no exception with a record 35 buyers confirmed, including new organisations like the Ministry of Defence and Aviva. Under the new ownership of MAG, I am determined to make Stansted the ‘best airport in London’.

“We’re already established as a world leader at serving the low-cost airline sector, with a route network stretching to around 150 destinations and more direct scheduled European flights than any other airport in the UK. But the focus now is to broaden the route network, invest in new terminal facilities, offer passengers and business more choice and create a richer mix of airlines operating out of Stansted, including long-haul carriers.

“These opportunities won’t just benefit MAG but also the 10,000 employees and 190 firms on site and the wider business community across the region. I want everyone to share in the success and benefit from the new and exciting vision MAG is bringing to Stansted.

“With a growing international airport on the doorstep, a thriving entrepreneurial spirit and more small and medium sized businesses than Scotland and Northern Ireland combined, this region has a lot to offer the UK Plc and this is where ‘Meet the Buyers’ can help.”

Companies attending include the Ministry of Defence, UK Power Networks, Lotus Cars, Essex & Suffolk Water, Uttlesford and East Herts District Councils and Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils.

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Simon Jackson, Uttlesford’s economic development manager, said: “While the economy remains in a fragile state, there is not a better opportunity to meet quality businesses in such a short space of time.”

Stansted Airport is the biggest single site employer in the East with over 10,200 people working for nearly 200 on-airport companies. Not only does the airport offer more than 150 international connections that are vital for growth in UK trade and investment, it also handled over 200,000 tonnes of cargo in 2012 helping to connect SMEs with the global marketplace.