West Midlands SMEs are being urged to attend a free networking event this autumn and hear about business opportunities being generated by the Midland Metropolitan hospital development.

On Thursday 9 October leading contractors and hundreds of representatives from West Midlands businesses will converge on the Bethel Convention Centre in West Bromwich for ‘Meet the hospital bidders’.

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The all-day networking show is being jointly organised by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Birmingham City Council. One of the main aims of the event is to show local SMEs the business opportunities being generated by the building of the £353m Midland Metropolitan hospital in Smethwick. This could mean anything from the supply of landscaping, signage, scaffolding and balustrading through to medical equipment, specialist lighting and WC cubicles.

Conrad Parke is a consultant who is working with Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust on local procurement. He said the hospital development has the potential to have wider social, economic and environmental benefits for the region.

“Having a new hospital is great news for people living in Sandwell and West Birmingham but if we can also use this hospital to create more local jobs and support for local businesses then we can double its impact,” he said.

Conrad-218x300To give local SMEs the best possible chance to win work stemming from the Midland Metropolitan, Sandwell Council is developing a groundbreaking digital procurement directory called the West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH). Users can ‘walk through’ this 3D virtual building and click on any component, room, area or piece of technology to call up details of a local firm able to supply it.

The winning contractor for the Midland Metropolitan will be able to use the WMVH to source products and services from capable local suppliers. It will be launched at ‘Meet the hospital bidders’ by former CBI chief Lord Digby Jones.

Councillor Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said: “If you are a business owner looking to attract the attention of the key players in the healthcare sector then this is an opportunity not to be missed.

“I hope that as many of the region’s businesses as possible will sign up for what promises to be an exciting and innovative event celebrating the very best of what the West Midlands business community has to offer.”

Principal contractors signed up to attend include Carillion, Laing O’Rourke and Interserve.

‘Meet the hospital bidders’ takes place on Thursday 9 October 2014 at the Bethel Convention Centre (Kelvin Way, West Bromwich B70 7JW) from 8:30am to 3pm.

To book your free place complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WMVH (which automatically registers you for the WMVH) and then email stephen_massey@sandwell.gov.uk with your details.

Please note that engagement with the West Midlands Virtual Hospital does not prove a company’s capability or competence to supply to the Midland Metropolitan Hospital development nor does it constitute an application to be included in a bidder’s supply chain.